A Guide for Perplexed Scholars, Entrepreneurs, Philanthropists, Leaders, Investors, and Policymakers
Edited by Dennis R. Young, Elizabeth A.M. Searing and Cassady V. Brewer
Chapter 3: The ongoing evolution in social enterprise legal forms
Only two jurisdictions in the world legally define the term “social enterprise.” Even within these leading jurisdictions, the definition generally serves only government certification and limited regulatory purposes. The definition does not establish a distinct, exclusive form of legal entity for social enterprise. Currently then, most social entrepreneurs choose their desired legal entity from among conventional forms: nonprofit, for-profit, and cooperative. The form of legal entity thus cannot serve as a bellwether for social enterprise. Nevertheless, because the legal desires of many social entrepreneurs differ significantly from the legal attributes offered by conventional forms, business law around the world is changing. A number of jurisdictions have modified the conventional legal attributes of cooperative legal forms to accommodate social enterprise. Moreover, at least five jurisdictions (Canada, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have taken the further step of authorizing distinct, for-profit, noncooperative, hybrid legal forms for social enterprise. Accordingly, this chapter provides relevant historical and current information on conventional legal forms as well as emerging “hybrid” forms used by social enterprise organizations. More importantly, this chapter demonstrates how an understanding of conventional as well as emerging hybrid legal forms supports and informs the zoo metaphor.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.