Kickstarter is now legally bound to be a 'good' company

The crowdfunding website is now a Public Benefit Corporation

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The Independent Online

Kickstarter has voluntarily entered into a contract to promise it will consider the social impact of its decisions.

The crowdfunding website is now a Public Benefit Corporation and has changed its name from Kickstarter Inc to Kickstarter PBC to reflect this.

Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that must legally consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders. As such these corporations have positive impact on society as a legally defined goal.

Kickstarter has said its motivations are threefold: to continue supporting the arts, to be transparent when profit comes into play, and to donate 5 per cent of annual post-tax profits to art education.

The idea of a Public Benefits Corporation is not new, but it is relatively uncommon. Kickstarter joins Patagonia, This American Life and Ello among the ranks of such businesses. Kickstarter said only 0.1 per cent of US businesses are registered in this way.

Yancey Strickler, co-founder of Kickstarter, said on the company’s blog that not one shareholder voted against the decision to register. “More and more voices are rejecting business as usual, and the pursuit of profit above all,” Strickler said.