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To Profit- Or not to Profit? What the Heck- Why not Both!?!

It has come to my attention, through that grapevine known as "the internet", that under discussion in the Maine state legislature is the creation  of a legal business entity that is a hybrid between the non-profit and "low profit" organizations. I have not yet been able to locate any specifics about the bill as it would stand in Maine. In North Carolina, it includes small manufacturers, but the usual definition of an LC3 is just a manipulation of the non-profit category so that investors can make a profit.

Here is a defintion from The Non-Profit Law Blog

"The low-profit, limited liability company, or L3C, is a hybrid of a nonprofit and for-profit organization. More specifically, it is a new type of limited liability company (LLC) designed to attract private investments and philanthropic capital in ventures designed to provide a social benefit. Unlike a standard LLC, the L3C has an explicit primary charitable mission and only a secondary profit concern. But unlike a charity, the L3C is free to distribute the profits, after taxes, to owners or investors. "

I do not know if  the investor retains a tax benefit for "donating" money to a non-profit organization, and if so, if that would be before or after paying taxes on his profit. The language used in defining the hybrid is "low profit" organizations- with "low profit" as yet undefined. I will be interested to see if "low profit" is defined in the legislation, should it come to pass.

Burton A Weisbrod is an economist who has written in length about the non-profit sector and it's relationship to the government sector and the private economy sector. The problems of the nonprofits already hybrid capitalization will not go away if the legislature creates a new legal hybrid.

This is the blurb from "To Profit or Not to Profit " Edited by  Burton A Weisbrod
Nonprofit organizations are changing dramatically in the ways they are financed. They are becoming increasingly commercial, operating more like private firms. Far more is involved than the generation of revenue. As donations decline in importance and user fees and money-raising ancillary activities come to dominate, they bring side-effects on the social missions that justify public support. This book examines these little-recognized relationships for the overall nonprofit charitable sector and then focuses on each of six industries; important differences are found among hospitals, universities, social service providers, zoos, museums, and public broadcasting."


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