Pending B Corporation Status

Has your company been in operation for less than 12 months? If so, Pending B Corp status might be right for you.

Pending B Corp logo

B Corp Certification is based on the verified practices and policies of a company over the past year—not what it aspires to do in the future. That means that only companies that have been in operation for at least twelve months are eligible for B Corporation Certification.

However, B Lab heard from the market that early stage companies needed a way to signal to stakeholders like investors, board advisers, employees, and prospective clients that they were on track to certifying as a B Corp. B Lab created Pending B Corp status to help those early stage companies make that commitment count.

To become Pending B Corps, companies go through the B Impact Assessment with best estimate answers and meet the legal requirement for certification. With a $1000 fee, B Lab grants the company use of the Certified B Corp: Pending intellectual property to help them publicly communicate their commitment.

After a year of operation, Pending B Corps can apply for full certification and can continue to use the Pending intellectual property as long as they have submitted the BIA for review.

Over 100 companies have sought out Pending B Corp status in order to:

  • Signal to current and future investors that their company is already beginning to measure and manage its social and environmental performance with the best tools available
  • Demonstrate strong governance by adopting the legal framework early to protect mission and brand equity from the beginning

Early stage companies do not need to become Pending B Corps in order to pursue full B Corp Certification later on. Above all, start-ups hoping to become Certified B Corporations should focus on building a great business! Remember, the first rule of mission-driven business is “no margin, no mission.”

This program is available in select markets of B Lab’s global network.

Requirements of Pending B Corp Status

To qualify for a one-year term as a Pending B Corp, your company must:

  • Meet the legal accountability requirement for B Corp Certification

  • Complete and submit a prospective B Impact Assessment

  • Sign the Pending B Corp Agreement and pay a one-time fee of $1000

In order to qualify for Pending B Corp status, a company must incorporate stakeholder consideration into the legal structure of your startup to set the company on the road to creating long-term value for shareholders and stakeholders. There’s no simpler time to meet this requirement than in the startup stage! Learn how your company can meet this requirement.

View Legal Requirement

Ensure that you understand the requirements of B Corp Certification and identify the right policies and practices to put in place as your company grows. The prospective B Impact Assessment does not need to be verified by B Lab, and you will receive no verified score.

View Guidelines

Because a company must be able to complete the B Corp legal requirement to be a Pending B Corp, the status is not available to all corporate structures and locations. Use our Legal Requirement Tool to determine if your company will be able to complete the Pending B Corp requirements.

After twelve months, Pending B Corps go through the full B Corp Certification process. However, with a head start on the legal requirement and full knowledge of the B Impact Assessment, you should have everything you need to certify with confidence.

Pending B Corp status is available only to companies with less than 12 months of operations.