If you want to have a for-profit business that can also pursue social goals like those of a non-profit, a community contribution company might be a great fit for you. British Columbia has launched a new hybrid corporate model called a community contribution company, also known as a C3 company or CCC. The reason this type of entity was created was due to an emerging demand for socially focused investment options. This type of business model is the first of its kind in Canada and C3s are designed to be between a for-profit business and a non-profit entity.
A C3 enables you to generate profits like any other business while pursuing social goals and aligning your operations to the desires of socially focused investors and funds. So you can keep the majority of your capital focused on the social enterprise, C3s feature a 40 percent cap on dividends paid to investors. Also, if your C3 dissolves, the majority of assets (after debts are paid) must go to a qualified entity, such as a charity. This is another great aspect of how C3s can help you carry out your social mission, even if the business aspect of the company fails.
Since the option first became available in July 2013, dozens of C3s have been created. Some examples include Accelerating Social Impact CCC Ltd, PHS Community Initiatives CCC Inc., and World Housing CCC Inc.
If you want to create a C3, you don’t have to start from scratch if you already have a business. If you already have an existing for-profit corporation in British Columbia, you can easily switch to the C3 model by filing a Notice of Alteration with BC Registry Services and a Name Request conversion with BC Corporate Services.
If you dream of starting a business that can generate profits while having social impact, you may want to consider a C3 as your business structure. To find out more about these new entities, refer to the amendments that British Columbia made to the Business Corporations Act or read the Ministry of Finance’s website dedicated to C3s.