a guide to becoming a b corp

Oct 27, 2020

updated: october 2021

1. what is a b corporation?

A B Corporation is a special kind of business. In the UK, you’ll legally be a Limited Company but you’ll have to consider people and planet as well as profit in all your decision making. 

It’s a certification that helps all your stakeholders (suppliers, customers, employees, shareholders and the general public) understand what you stand for as a business. We’re not a charity; one of our goals is to make a profit but on the way, we’re making a positive impact on the world and people around us.

Here’s the formal definition: 

“B Corps are businesses that meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.”

2. how do you become a b corp?

Becoming a B Corp means going through the rigorous B Impact Assessment. This is an assessment that covers all sorts of areas of your business from looking at your supply chain and employment rights to your carbon footprint and governance. 

You have to score a minimum of 80 points on the assessment and also change your Articles of Association ( the constitution of your company) to state that you’ll consider profit, planet and people equally in your decision making. Once you’ve done all of this, you can become a certified B Corp after your assessment is verified by the B Corp team.

3. are b corps charities?

No, B Corps are for-profit businesses that use their business operations to drive positive changes in the world.

4. what does the b in b corp stand for?

The B is a call to action. We must “B” the change we seek in the world. B Corporations are an inspiring community of businesses that are working to lead that change. 

5. how long does it take to be a b corp?

Your business has to be at least one year old to become a Certified B Corporation. 

If you’re still younger than that you can become a Pending B Corp like we were until we fully certified. This means that you’ve completed the B Impact Assessment, got a great score above 80 and changed your Articles of Association but haven’t yet been certified by a B Corporation analyst.

Once you’re ready to certify there’s a rigorous process to go through which takes several months to check that you’re really doing what you say you’re doing.

6. how many b corps are there?

There are over 4,000 Certified B Corporations in 77 countries in all sorts of different industries (over 150 in fact!). In the UK there’s over 400 B Corps and, excitingly, we’re the only mobile network in the UK to have certified.

7. do you have to pay to be a b corp?

Yes, there’s a membership fee paid to the central B Corp team which is how they make money to run the B Corporation organisation.

8. which b corps will i have heard of?

There are some big ones out there! Innocent Drinks, The Guardian and Patagonia are some of the most famous names but you also might have heard of Bulb, Brewgooder and OddBox.

9. do you have to do anything to keep your b corp certification?

Yes, every three years you have to go through the B Impact Assessment again. 

Part of being a B Corp means being committed to continually improving your business and improving your impact score too.

We’ve set some ambitious goals to increase our score by over 50% the next time we go through the process. 

10. what does being a b corp mean for honest mobile? 

For us it means doing the right thing, every time, and believing we can have a positive impact on the world. Whether that’s for the environment, for our customers or for our team. 

To find out some of the things we actually do as a B Corp, please read our blog post