On October 1st, 2015, West Paw became the first company doing business in Montana to change their corporate status to a Benefit Corporation while Montana became the 29th state to allow businesses to file as a Benefit Corporation!
“With talented and trained workers, a strong business tax climate, an unmatched quality of life, and a culture that supports entrepreneurship, Montana is a great place for folks with a good idea and a willingness to work hard to turn their idea into a business,” said Governor Bullock. “By allowing entrepreneurs to incorporate as a benefits corporation, we’re providing an additional tool to support economic development in Montana, while allowing companies to improve their communities.” - Former Montana Governor, Steve Bullock.
West Paw became a Certified B Corp in 2013, and employees supported this legislation with personal testimonials at the Senate. “Becoming the first company to file as a Benefit Corporation in Montana is exciting for myself and the team at West Paw. We are excited to further our commitment and join other Benefit Corporations, such as Patagonia and King Arthur Flour, who have committed, their businesses to doing good for the world.” - Spencer Williams, Owner and President, West Paw
A B Corp is a company that must be certified by the nonprofit B Lab and meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. B Corps are important because they inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world but to be best for the world. A B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.
Benefit Corporations must operate to provide a “general public benefit,” which is defined in the enabling statute as “a material, positive impact on society and the environment, taken as a whole, as assessed against a third-party standard, from the business and operations of a benefit corporation.” There are no tax implications.
West Paw is a Bozeman, Montana-based company that sustainably manufactures eco-friendly dog toys, leashes, collars, and beds. Founded in 1996, West Paw products are sold in over 3,000 pet specialty stores across the US and distributed worldwide. www.westpaw.com.
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