Press Release

SAINT PAUL, Minn., March 31, 2016 –The Improve Group congratulates its pro bono clients on the successful submission of their first Annual Benefit Reports. These organizations joined a new class of for-profit corporations in Minnesota that have pledged to pursue public benefits among their primary objectives. Public Benefit Corporations (PBCs) are Minnesota’s newest form of business, designed explicitly to benefit the public through the products they sell, resources they use, and charitable and volunteer contributions they make. As an organization helping for-profit, nonprofit, and public entities ensure their investments lead to meaningful, sustained impact, The Improve Group is pleased to help champion Minnesota’s new PBCs.

We congratulate our pro bono clients:

  • Fair Anita (first to submit a report!)
  • MNPharm
  • Swim Possible
  • Zuri
  • Can Can Wonderland

These clients were winners of the Benefit Corporation Cultivator Program, a collaboration of local organizations that teamed up to support this new class of Minnesota businesses. The collaboration includes The Improve Group, Fredrikson & Byron, and The Restore Collaborative. Jeff Ochs of Huli Consulting also provided important insights and guidance for the initiative. The Improve Group provided free social impact evaluation consulting services. Specifically, we helped the new PBCs define and articulate their specific public benefit, measure benefits and impact, and prepare to report results to the public. Fredrikson & Byron provided free legal support and The Restore Collaborative provided free use of their co-working space. 

Companies are increasingly looking to have a social impact as a way to differentiate themselves and attract customers and employees. These organizations adopt a social mission that uses some combination of sourcing, sharing, and selling products with a social impact, either legally in their corporate filings or through how they communicate their brand.


On April 24, 2014, the Minnesota legislature passed the Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) Act. With this Act, Minnesota joined 26 states offering a new and specific statutory option to organize as a for-profit and socially minded businesses. By incorporating as a public benefit corporation, businesses obligate to pursue public benefits among their primary objective. The new law also provides more flexible uses of profits than just dividends to shareholders. Businesses were able to incorporate in Minnesota as a PBC beginning on January 1, 2015.

One of the key features of the Act is that a PBC must publish an Annual Benefit Report describing how and to what extent it pursued and created public benefit. Failure to file this report will result in the revocation of PBC status. Annual Benefit Reports must be filed with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State before April 1. Today is the last day for Minnesota Public Benefit Corporations to file their Annual Benefit Reports.

Related Links:

Links to Minnesota 2015 PBC Annual Benefit Reports

Minnesota's Annual Benefit Report Form

Minnesota Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) Act

Announcement: First Public Benefit Corporation Registered in Minnesota (1/2/15)

National Context: State by State Status of Legislation