Tonkon Torp Helps Create Oregon Benefit Companies

Tonkon Torp client, Rogue Creamery, became the first Oregon enterprise to become a Benefit Company on January 1, 2014, the date Oregon’s new law went into effect. Justin Denton, who chairs the firm’s Closely Held Business practice group, did the legal work for Rogue Creamery’s registration. 


Benefit Companies allow 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. According to Denton , this registration helps protect the company decision makers from being sued by company owners for not focusing solely on the bottom line. In the case of Rogue Creamery, he says the new structure simply reflects the way this client has done business for decades. 


“Rogue Creamery has been focusing on the broader community for many years. Becoming a Benefit Company aligns their corporate governance documents with their commitment to meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency regarding social and environmental responsibility,” Denton said.. 


Oregon is the 20th state to pass Benefit Company legislation. According to Oregon’s then Secretary of State, Kate Brown, first day registration exceeded expectations, with 24 Oregon enterprises filing for Benefit Company status. Tonkon Torp corporate lawyer Jeff Cronn was instrumental in crafting the Oregon Benefit Company legislation. 


Located in Central Point, Oregon, Rogue Creamery describes itself as an organization of people dedicated to sustainability, service, and the art and tradition of creating the world’s finest handmade cheese. 

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