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Tonkon Torp Practice Group Supports Businesses Seeking Benefit Company Status

April 29, 2014
Tonkon Torp business lawyers have formed a practice group specializing in helping Oregon business owners obtain formal registration as a Benefit Company. The registration reflects a company’s commitment to a triple bottom line of social responsibility, economic prosperity and environmental stewardship.
 
Benefit Company corporate status comes with expanded fiduciary duties of directors, officers and managers, and requires specific documentation regarding the purpose, accountability and transparency of the organization. Tonkon Torp’s Benefit Company practice group counsels clients on what that means regarding how to operate a Benefit Company, and prepares and files appropriate registration documents with the State of Oregon.
 
“We have a number of clients who are interested in pursuing Benefit Company registration, which allows business owners to include in their company’s governing documents a commitment to provide a positive impact on society and the environment as primary business purposes,” says Jeff Cronn, chair of Tonkon Torp’s Business Department. “There is a lot of buzz about Benefit Companies right now, but it may not be a suitable corporate structure for everyone. That’s why we try to make sure clients understand the benefits and risks of their choice before they begin the registration process.” 
 
State law allowing Benefit Company corporate status went into effect on January 1, 2014. Cronn and his colleague, Marco Materazzi, played an active role in crafting the Oregon Benefit Company legislation. Attorney Justin Denton helped client Rogue Creamery to be the first Oregon company to register as a Benefit Company. Today, nearly two dozen organizations appear on the Secretary of State’s Benefit Company registration list, and interest continues to grow.