The object of this work is the study of a new model of company introduced in Italy with Law No. 208/2015, the Benefit Corporation, a form of undertaking with joint lucrative and altruistic purposes. The Italian legislator was inspired by the North American Benefit Corporation, which was introduced in many states beginning in 2010, but the Italian regulation is fairly generic and incomplete. Our preliminary task is to seek a systematic framework for this model of company, identifying its rightful place among the ‘for-profit’ and ‘non-profit’ business sector, while highlighting their similarities or differences with regard to the wider issue of corporate social responsibility. Next we must attempt to try to fill in, through interpretation, the many gaps and dysfunctions we find in the regulatory body that, if unresolved, would make the new company model unappealing. This reconstruction must be carried out with reference to the traditional concepts of Italian corporate law, depending on the type of corporation chosen and insofar as they are compatible with the new model. The work thus provides a rough comparison of the new Italian corporation model and some of the North American states’ legal regulations on Benefit Corporations.
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