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Does becoming a B Corp affect your ability to sell some/all of your company?

The purpose of the B Corp legal framework is to ensure that companies wishing to pursue a high-impact, holistic view of success are held to that purpose, regardless of any change in leadership or ownership.

However, in the event that the legal change was to be an issue for a potential investor, the legal change can always be unwound prior to or shortly after the sale.

But there are good reasons to be encouraged about the investment opportunity that B Corps represent. Whilst evidence within the B Corp community itself is still limited (because the B Corp movement is young) there is a growing sense that B Corps attract a broader range of investment, and are a more a resilient investment opportunity when compared to the average company that does not consider the same breadth of factors. The same can be said of companies outside of the B Corp network that considers a holistic approach to sustainable success but  B Corps may well have an added brand value that, potentially, they would not have otherwise.

It is true that there will be investors who (in spite of the overwhelming empirical and experiential evidence to the contrary) still think that businesses which consider anything other than shareholder value must be making a financial sacrifice to do so. But we will never persuade every investor of its merits and boards considering becoming (or being like) a B Corp perhaps would also have reservations about involving that type of investor anyway.

"We are excited about [Etsy becoming a Certified B Corporation] as it fits well with our beliefs about the changing role of businesses. We believe that the best long term steward of [the internet-based networks in which we invest] will be a company that focuses on value creation for all participants instead of solely for its shareholders. Becoming certified as a B Corp provides a measurement framework that dovetails extremely well with this more comprehensive approach."

Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures

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  1. John Featherby

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