Frequently Asked Questions
About B Lab
We are a non-profit organization leading an economic systems change in Africa. Challenging the status quo and encouraging an economy that benefits all people, communities, and the planet. Our mission is to accelerate a shift in how business is done in Africa. To redefine business success as not just for profit but also purpose. To encourage businesses to work for positive impact for all stakeholders: workers, customers, community and the environment. Our network creates standards and tools for business, advocates for policy change and certifies companies – known as B Corps – who are leading the way. To date, our community includes over 55 B Corps across Africa impacting people and the planet positively. Over 2000 businesses in Africa measure and manage their impact using the B Impact Assessment and the SDG Action Manager.
About B Corps
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
In 2006, three friends left careers in business and private equity and created an organization dedicated to making it easier for mission-driven companies to protect and improve their positive impact over time. The first 82 B Corps were certified in 2007.
There are currently over 3,900 Certified B Corporations in more than 150 industries across 70 countries.
Benefit corporations and Certified B Corporations are often confused. The B Corp Certification is a third-party certification administered by the non-profit B Lab, based in part on a company’s verified performance on the B Impact Assessment. The benefit corporation is a legal structure for a business, like an LLC or a corporation. Benefit corporations are legally empowered to pursue positive stakeholder impact alongside profit. Some companies are both Certified B Corporations and benefit corporations, and the benefit corporation structure fulfills the legal accountability requirement of B Corp Certification. Learn more about the difference.
B Corp Certification isn’t a perfect fit for every organization. Nonprofits, large multinationals, governmental organizations and companies of all sectors and sizes can join the B Economy by using B Lab’s impact management and stakeholder governance tools.
Yes! Existing Certified B Corps have gone public, like Silver Chef. Publicly-traded companies have also achieved B Corp Certification, such as Natura. Many other Certified B Corps are subsidiaries of publicly-traded companies, such as Ben & Jerry’s and Sundial Brands (owned by Unilever) and New Chapter (owned by Proctor & Gamble).
Probably! There are Certified B Corps in more than 50 countries around the world. Use our B Corp Directory to search by keyword, location, or industry.
About B Corp Certification
Certified B Corps must meet a legal accountability requirement to maintain Certification. Your company’s legal requirement will vary based on your location and structure. Currently, the legal requirement affects companies in Kenya and Rwanda. Download B Corp Legal requirements here.
B Corp Certification is based in part on a company’s verified performance on the B Impact Assessment, which asks questions about a company’s past fiscal year. This means that companies with less than one year of operations are not yet eligible for B Corp Certification. Instead, they may pursue Pending B Corp status, designed to set a start-up on the path to full Certification.
Certified B Corporations pay an annual certification fee, which licenses them to use intellectual property like the Certified B Corp logo. This fee starts as low as $300 and scales with revenue. You can see the full pricing schedule on the Certification page. Access to the B Impact Assessment is free. Your company may also be subject to additional costs depending on size and structure.
Yes! There’s no minimum size for B Corp Certification. Your company size will influence the questions you have to answer on the B Impact Assessment to meet the performance requirement for Certification.
The length of the certification process varies based on a company’s size and complexity. Completing the B Impact Assessment requires a minimum of several hours. The verification process to finalize a company’s score typically takes from several weeks to a few months. Large multinationals or companies with many related entities should expect a longer process.
Any for-profit company with at least a year of operations may pursue B Corp Certification. There is no minimum or maximum size. Certain companies, such as those under a year old, those with related entities, or large multinational and public companies, have additional considerations and requirements.
The standards for B Corp Certification are overseen by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council. Members of the Standards Advisory Council bring industry and stakeholder expertise to bear during the three-year update cycle for the B Impact Assessment, complaints made against Certified B Corps, and material disclosures made by companies pursuing B Corp Certification.
B Lab takes complaints seriously and appreciates those who come forward with them. Material complaints are overseen by B Lab’s independent Standards Advisory Council. Learn more about our complaints process.
All Certified B Corps share their B Impact Assessment overall scores and category scores on their public profiles on bcorporation.net. Public companies and their subsidiaries have extra transparency requirements and make their entire B Impact Assessment public, with particularly sensitive information like revenue redacted. Companies that have material items, such as lawsuits, on their Disclosure Questionnaire may also be required to make that disclosure transparent as well. Learn more about the certification requirements.