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Low-profit Limited Liability Companies (L3Cs)


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Terry Porter, Maine Business School, University of Maine, Maine, USA.



This paper introduces the Low-profit Limited Liability Company (L3C) form to the public affairs literature. The L3C is a new legal form of business entity emerging in the USA. As a form of social enterprise, L3C firms use a marketplace approach to solve social problems. The L3C form represents a radical transformation of capitalist enterprise, in that a social mission trumps profit generation. The emergence of the social enterprise movement has the potential to shift stakeholder expectations about appropriate levels of corporate social responsibility. If changes in tax policy occur, private foundations could become a major source of start-up capital for L3Cs. The result would be social enterprise claiming a larger share of commercial marketplaces. This paper explores L3C opportunities and risks from a managerial perspective, with particular focus on the public affairs implications of the L3C form. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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