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  • InsideTrack
  • February 21, 2018

    Blending Profit and Purpose: Wisconsin's New Benefit Corporation Law

    In this video, Milwaukee attorney Emil Ovbiagele talks about a new Wisconsin law that provides liability protection for for-profit entities who also seek to benefit the public.

    Feb. 21, 2018 – Last November, Wisconsin became the 34th state to adopt a new corporate form: the benefit corporation, which is a for-profit entity that seeks to create a material positive impact on society or the environment through a stated purpose.

    Socially conscious investors are driving this new corporate form, first created in Maryland in 2010. It blends a corporation’s profit-making function with a do-good philosophy, providing liability protection for directors who pursue public benefit goals.

    In this video, Milwaukee attorney Emil Ovbiagele of OVB Law & Consulting S.C., discusses the new Wisconsin law, Wis. Stat. chapter 204, which takes effect on Feb. 25 (the 90th day after publication of 2017 Wisconsin Act 77 on Nov. 28, 2017).

    Ovbiagele presented “Wisconsin B Corps – Blending Profit and Purpose” – produced by State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® in a live, one-hour webcast on Feb. 15 – providing insight and guidance on the new law’s provisions and how lawyers can advise clients.

    He said directors in traditional corporations may face pushback from shareholders if they pursue goals outside the profit-making function. And non-profit corporations may become restricted when their stated nonprofit purpose is generating profits.

    “By understanding these different business models, attorneys can really add additional value to their clients in helping them make that transition or make that decision to become a public benefit corporation,” Ovbiagele said.

    Learn More

    Want to learn more about benefit corporations? Catch webcast replays of “Wisconsin B Corps – Blending Profit and Purpose” from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on the following dates:

    About the Presenter

    Emil Ovbiagele works with closely-held businesses and entrepreneurs. He practices in the areas of corporate law, small business and real estate acquisitions, employment law, and commercial litigation.

    Emil earned his B.A., JD, and MBA from Marquette University. He currently serves on the boards of the Milwaukee Young Lawyers’ Association and Wisconsin Voices.

    Since 2014, he has volunteered as a competition coach for several mock trial teams at the Marquette University Law School. In 2017, Emil was recognized by Super Lawyers® as a “Rising Star” in the area of closely-held businesses. He was also selected by the Wisconsin Law Journal as an “Up and Coming Lawyer.”

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