Governance of the Social Enterprise: Structural and Operational Considerations

State Bar of Texas, Governance of Nonprofit Organizations Course, Austin, Texas

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Social enterprises use business methods to do good.  Whether certified as a B Corp., operating as an L3C, or taking another form, these organizations give entrepreneurial voice to mission activities.

Written to serve as an introduction to this developing sector, this paper systematically examines half-a-dozen structural options for Social Enterprises, including nonprofit, for-profit, and dual purpose models.  The bulk of the paper examines the responsibilities of managers/owners and tax issues unique to each model’s governance structure and purpose before delving into government regulations specific to this new sector.  A variety of real-world examples and a flowchart overview for selecting the best structure for your purposes are included, and helpful resources are cited throughout.