PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATIONS

TEXAS BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS

§ 21.951. LAW APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATIONS; FORMATION.

(a) A for-profit corporation may elect under § 3.007(e) to be a public benefit corporation that is governed by this subchapter.

(b) If a corporation elects to be a public benefit corporation, the corporation is subject to the other provisions of this chapter and other provisions of this code applicable to for-profit corporations.

(c) To the extent of a conflict between this subchapter and another provision of this chapter or another provision of this code applicable to for-profit corporations, this subchapter controls.

§ 21.952. DEFINITIONS.

In this subchapter:

(1) "Public benefit" means a positive effect, or a reduction of a negative effect, on one or more categories of persons, entities, communities, or interests, other than shareholders in their capacities as shareholders of the corporation, including effects of an artistic, charitable, cultural, economic, educational, environmental, literary, medical, religious, scientific, or technological nature.

(2) "Public benefit corporation" means a domestic for-profit corporation that elects under § 3.007(e) to be a public benefit corporation governed by this subchapter.

(3) "Public benefit provisions" means the provisions of a certificate of formation that are required by § 3.007(e) and this subchapter.

§ 21.953. PURPOSE OF PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION; NAME OF CORPORATION.

(a) A public benefit corporation is a domestic for-profit corporation that is intended to produce a public benefit or benefits and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.

(b) To accomplish the purpose of the corporation described by Subsection (a), a public benefit corporation shall be managed in a manner that balances:

(1) the shareholders' pecuniary interests;

(2) the best interests of those persons materially affected by the corporation's conduct; and

(3) the public benefit or benefits specified in the corporation's certificate of formation.

(c) The name of the public benefit corporation specified in its certificate of formation may contain the words "public benefit corporation," the abbreviation "P.B.C.," or the designation "PBC." If the name does not contain those words or that abbreviation or designation, the corporation must, before issuing unissued shares or disposing of treasury shares and except as provided by Subsection (d), provide notice that the corporation is a public benefit corporation to any person:

(1) to whom the unissued shares are issued; or

(2) who acquires the treasury shares.

(d) Notice is not required to be provided under Subsection (c) if:

(1) the issuance or disposal of shares described by that subsection is under an offering registered under the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U.S.C. § 77a et seq.); or

(2) at the time of the issuance or disposal of shares described by that subsection, the corporation has a class of securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. § 78a et seq.).

(e) § 5.054(a) does not apply to a public benefit corporation that includes in its name the words, abbreviation, or designation permitted by Subsection (c).

§ 21.954. CERTAIN AMENDMENTS, MERGERS, EXCHANGES, AND CONVERSIONS; VOTER APPROVAL REQUIRED.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a domestic for-profit corporation that is not a public benefit corporation may not, without the approval of the owners of two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the corporation entitled to vote on the matter, which must be a vote by class or series of shares if otherwise required by § 21.364, 21.457, or 21.458:

(1) amend the corporation's certificate of formation to comply with the requirements of § 3.007(e) to elect for the corporation to be governed as a public benefit corporation;

(2) merge or effect an interest exchange with another entity if, as a result of the merger or exchange, the shares in the corporation would become, or be converted into or exchanged for the right to receive, shares or other equity interests in a domestic or foreign public benefit corporation or similar entity; or

(3) convert into a foreign public benefit corporation or similar entity.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply until the corporation has issued and outstanding shares of the corporation's capital stock.

(c) A domestic entity that is not a domestic for-profit corporation may not, without the approval of the owners of two-thirds of the outstanding ownership interests of the entity entitled to vote on the matter:

(1) merge or effect an interest exchange with another entity if, as a result of the merger or exchange, the ownership interests in the entity would become, or be converted into or exchanged for the right to receive, shares or other equity interests in a domestic or foreign public benefit corporation or similar entity; or

(2) convert into a domestic or foreign public benefit corporation or similar entity.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a public benefit corporation may not, without the approval of two-thirds of the outstanding shares of the corporation entitled to vote on the matter, which must be a vote by class or series of shares if otherwise required by § 21.364, 21.457, or 21.458:

(1) amend the corporation's certificate of formation to delete or amend a provision required by § 3.007(e) or described by § 21.957(c);

(2) convert into a domestic or foreign entity:

(A) that is not a public benefit corporation or similar entity; and

(B) that does not contain in its certificate of formation or similar governing document provisions identical to the provisions in the certificate of formation of the public benefit corporation containing the public benefit or benefits specified under § 3.007(e) or imposing requirements under § 21.957(c); or

(3) merge or effect an interest exchange with another entity if, as a result of the merger or exchange, the shares in the corporation would become, or be converted into or exchanged for the right to receive, shares or other equity interests in a domestic or foreign entity:

(A) that is not a public benefit corporation or similar entity; and

(B) that does not contain in its certificate of formation or similar governing document provisions identical to the provisions in the certificate of formation of the public benefit corporation containing the public benefit or benefits specified under § 3.007(e) or imposing requirements under § 21.957(c).

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit association may not:

(1) with respect to a merger governed by this section, be a party to the merger; or

(2) convert into a public benefit corporation.

(f) An owner of a domestic entity affected by an action described by this § has the rights of dissent and appraisal as an owner described by § 10.354 and to the extent provided by Subchapter H, Chapter 10.

§ 21.955. STOCK CERTIFICATES; NOTICES REGARDING UNCERTIFICATED STOCK.

(a) A stock certificate issued by a public benefit corporation must note conspicuously that the corporation is a public benefit corporation governed by this subchapter.

(b) A notice sent by a public benefit corporation under § 3.205 must state conspicuously that the corporation is a public benefit corporation governed by this subchapter.

§ 21.956. DUTIES OF DIRECTORS.

(a) The board of directors of a public benefit corporation shall manage or direct the business and affairs of the corporation in a manner that balances:

(1) the pecuniary interests of the shareholders;

(2) the best interests of those persons materially affected by the corporation's conduct; and

(3) the specific public benefit or benefits specified in the corporation's certificate of formation.

(b) A director of a public benefit corporation does not, by virtue of the public benefit provisions included in the certificate of formation or by virtue of the purpose and requirements of §§ 21.953(a) and (b), owe any duty to any person because of:

(1) any interest the person has in the public benefit or benefits specified in the certificate of formation; or

(2) any interest materially affected by the corporation's conduct.

(c) With respect to a decision implicating the balance requirement of Subsection (a), a director of a public benefit corporation is considered to have satisfied the director's duties to shareholders and the corporation if the director's decision is both informed and disinterested and is not a decision that no person of ordinary, sound judgment would approve.

(d) The certificate of formation of a public benefit corporation may include a provision that any disinterested failure of a director to satisfy the requirements of this § does not, for the purposes of the applicable provisions of this code, constitute an act or omission not in good faith or a breach of the duty of loyalty.

§ 21.957. PERIODIC STATEMENTS.

(a) A public benefit corporation shall include in each notice of a meeting of shareholders a statement to the effect that the corporation is a public benefit corporation governed by this subchapter.

(b) A public benefit corporation, at least biennially, shall provide to the corporation's shareholders a statement pertaining to the corporation's promotion of the public benefit or benefits specified in the corporation's certificate of formation and promotion of the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation's conduct. The statement must include:

(1) the objectives the board of directors has established to promote the public benefit or benefits and interests;

(2) the standards the board of directors has adopted to measure the corporation's progress in promoting the public benefit or benefits and interests;

(3) objective factual information based on those standards regarding the corporation's success in meeting the objectives for promoting the public benefit or benefits and interests; and

(4) an assessment of the corporation's success in meeting the objectives and promoting the public benefit or benefits and interests.

(c) The certificate of formation or bylaws of a public benefit corporation may require that the corporation:

(1) provide the statement required by Subsection (b) more frequently than biennially; or

(2) make the statement required by Subsection (b) available to the public.

§ 21.958. DERIVATIVE SUITS.

(a) In this section, "shareholder" means:

(1) shareholders of a public benefit corporation that own, individually or collectively, at least two percent of the corporation's outstanding shares; or

(2) shareholders of a public benefit corporation the shares of which are listed on a national securities exchange that own at least the lesser of:

(A) the percentage of shares described by Subdivision (1); or

(B) shares whose market value is at least $2 million.

(b) A shareholder of a public benefit corporation may maintain a derivative action on behalf of the corporation to enforce compliance with the requirements of § 21.956(a).

§ 21.959. NO EFFECT ON OTHER CORPORATIONS.

Except as provided by § 21.954, this subchapter does not apply to a corporation that is not a public benefit corporation.

Contact Information

Mailing Address

Chowins Law Firm, PLLC
1011 Surrey Lane #200
Flower Mound, TX 75022

Telephone

(469) 630-2550

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