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What's involved in the B Corp certification?

1. B Impact Assessment (BIA)

A business must first undertake an assessment: a self-answered, online questionnaire that covers the entirety of an organisation.

From an operational perspective, it covers governance, workers, community, customers and the environment. From a strategic perspective, it looks at the type of business model being used to create positive social and/or environmental impact. The BIA calls these your company's "Impact Business Model".

At this point, a business must also complete a standards verification and disclosure questionnaire.

2. Legal Change

The company must amend its Articles of Association to shift the focus from shareholder to stakeholder and a commitment to the triple bottom line.

It uses Companies Act Article 172 as the legal basis to ensure a B Corp enshrines the commitment to creating a material positive impact on society and the environment and not putting shareholder interests above other stakeholder interests.

If the business is owned by a sole-trader then no formal legal change is required.

3. Formalising B Corp Status

A term sheet and B Corp Declaration of Interdependence is supplied to the business for signature as a symbolic commitment to the intentions and communal aspirations of the B Corp community.

4. Certification Fee

A fee is payable that contributes towards the running of the B Corp community. 

At the time of writing (Mar 2019), the fees are as follows:

Annual Sales  Annual Certification Fee
£0 - £149,000
£150,000 - £1,999,999
£2 MM - £4,999,999
£5 MM - £9,999,999
£10 MM - £19,999,999
£20 MM - £49,999,999
£50 MM - £74,999,999
£75 MM - £99,999,999
£100 MM - £249,999,999
£250 MM - £499,999,999
£500 MM - £749,999,999
£750 MM - £999,999,999
£1 B+
£50,000+, depending on the structure of the company

These fees are subject to change without notification. Whilst it is intended that these prices are kept up to date, B Lab reserves the right to alter published prices.
*VAT will be added to these fees.

5. Ready to Go!

At this point, you’re a fully fledged B Corp ready to tell the world. It’s recommended to make a splash and there a plenty of examples to follow and learn from in terms of how other companies, large and small, have gone about telling their stakeholders and the wider world of their B Corp status.

Download the Complete Guide to B Corp Certification for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.

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  1. John Featherby

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