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MD LLCs Seek ‘Benefit’ Status For Eco-Friendly Causes

Maryland limited liability companies would have the same right as corporations to promote social causes, as well as make money, under a bill introduced this month in the General Assembly. The bill follows legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Martin O’Malley, which made Maryland the first state in the country to recognize what are known as “benefit corporations.” These are companies that, as part of their mission, commit themselves to improving their community or helping the environment, as well as turning a profit.

“Maryland is a small business state and a lot of small businesses are LLCs,” said Ida Cheinman, principal and creative director of Substance151, a Baltimore branding and marketing firm.

“Being designated as a Benefit LLC is something the company could use to set itself apart from competitors and appeal to like-minded customers,” Cheinman said. She plans to register her company as a Benefit LLC if the bill becomes law.

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