When should I apply for Pending B Corp Status?

Businesses should apply for Pending B Corp status when they are at least 1 month in operation or under 12 months of operation. We explain what we consider as ‘operational’ here as this largely depends when formal employment or engagement with a supplier or client begins.

When should I fulfill the legal requirement for my business’s corporate structure?
Complete your legal requirement as soon as you submit your B Impact Assessment and Pending B Corp application. The legal requirement must be completed before your business is 12 months of operations.

Can I meet the legal requirement by signing the B Corp Agreement?
The B Corp Agreement outlines the terms and requirements for Pending B Corps for maintaining the status but this does not meet the legal requirement. Since the legal requirement is dependent on your business’s corporate structure and region of incorporation, please take a look at our Legal Requirement tool for what your legal pathway is. If your country of incorporation does not have a legal pathway, your business is not eligible for the Pending B Corp status at this time.

What does B Lab use the B Impact Assessment for in my Pending B Corp application?

Since your business is under 12 months in operations, the B Impact Assessment is organized to capture 12 months of business operations. As an eligible Pending B Corp, your business must be under 12 months of operations, so you are able to complete the B Impact Assessment prospectively, or with goals of practices you plan to implement in the 12 months of the start up phase. B Lab does not verify the assessment for your Pending B Corp application and only verifies the legal requirement for your business.

Why are sole proprietors not eligible for Pending B Corp Status?

Much like companies in regions where there is no legal pathway, sole proprietors do not have a legal pathway for Pending B Corp status as there are no formal governing documents. For this reason, sole proprietors can wait until they are 12 months in operations before applying for the full B Corp Certification for which they are eligible.

What are the benefits of Pending B Corp Status?
Applying for the Pending B Corp status allows you and your business to understand the B Corp Certification requirements by working through the assessment. During your 12 months you are able to use the Pending B Corp logo on your business website and social media accounts.

I have an open application for full B Corp Certification. Does that mean I can use the Pending B logo?

The Pending B logo is reserved for companies who have successfully completed the Pending B review process. It is not for companies that are simply in the process of applying for full B Corp Certification. 

More Resources:
An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Certified B Corporations and Benefit Corporations
B Corporation Legal Requirements (US)