Social Enterprise


Social enterprise is a new and evolving discipline that focuses on mission-driven businesses which have legally formed as, or voluntarily adopted, a triple-bottom line model (people, planet, profits) that not only takes into account the best interests of shareholders but also key stakeholders, such as the environment and the broader community. The purpose of a social enterprise is to fulfill a socially-beneficial mission while generating profits, in contrast to traditional businesses which have a history of prioritizing profits over, or at the expense of, social good.

Social enterprises can take on a number of different structure, including but not limited to the following types of legal entities: 501(c)(3) exempt organization, 501(c)(4) exempt organization, a benefit corporation (available in California), for-profit C corporation or S corporation, an L3C or low-profit limited liability company (not currently available in California), or various combinations of the foregoing.

On top of these structures, social enterprises can also opt to become a “Certified B Corp” which is not a legal structure, but a certification that is provided by B Labs, an independent third party that assesses and certifies a company’s social impact.

We help entrepreneurs and founders of social enterprises navigate these different entities and provide a framework to assist them in selecting the type of entity that best meets their mission-driven goals. At InspiraLaw, we rely on our deep knowledge in business and tax-exempt law to provide practical and insightful advice to our social enterprise clients on a variety of issues including:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Charities & Private Foundations
  • Corporate Sponsorship
  • Donors and charitable giving
  • Employees and contractors
  • Fiscal Sponsorships
  • Governance and ongoing compliance
  • Health & Disability
  • Impact Investing
  • Intellectual Property
  • Insurance
  • Fundraising and Events
  • Philanthropy
  • Privacy
  • Risk management