How to determine when your company’s operations started:

The “start” of a company’s operations can be defined in many ways across the business community. Because of this, our definition is meant to inform how it is applied based on the scope of the B Impact Assessment. The beginning of business operations are not synonymous with when the company was founded or registered officially. 


We define your operational date as the initial date in which the company 

1. Had at least one individual contributing greater than 35 hours per week to the company (including working owners) 

2. Was formally engaged with a supplier or client.


If you are not operating fully yet, you are welcome to continue to use the Assessment to measure, improve and set aspirational goals for your impact. However,  we ask that you wait to submit your assessment for review until you have begun operations. 


If your business has been in full operations for a significant amount of time and therefore determining the exact operational date would be difficult, please populate the field with the date the company was founded or enter an approximation. 

Why do we ask about business operations?

For businesses under 12 months of operations, the full B Corp Certification does not yet apply to your business. Since the assessment is an annual assessment tool, it captures impact that has occurred in the last 12 months. If your business does not have 12 months of operations and is located in a region that has a legal pathway, you may be eligible for the Pending B status. Learn more about the Pending B Corp status here.


If there is no legal pathway determined for the region where the business is located, you are not eligible for Pending B Status even if you have less than 12 months of operations. In this case, the company will have to wait until 12 months of operations to apply for full certification.


Examples:


A single owner company has had one employee (the founder) working 40 hours per week on the business for 2 years, but did not have any clients or suppliers until 1 year ago. This company is eligible to pursue B Corp Certification since the operational date is more than 12 months since the day that one individual was contributing greater than 35 hours per week to the business and they were engaged with clients and suppliers.


A company was founded roughly 1 year ago but has not had any employees working greater than 35 hours on the business. 6 months ago they signed a significant supplier contract and began production via co-manufacturer. This company would be eligible to pursue Pending B Corp Certification with an operational date of the day the supplier contract was signed. 


However, in order to pursue full B Corp Certification when the Pending Certification expires one year later, the company must have one individual contributing greater than 35 hours to the business at that time.


A service company that was created/ founded three years ago wants to pursue B Corp Certification. The company has had one owner contributing roughly 35 hours per week to the company for the past 6 months and no other employees on payroll. This company can pursue Pending certification but will not be eligible to pursue B Corp Certification until that individual has been working greater than 35 hours per week for at least one year.