Social enterprises are still not optimally recognized. For example, there is often too little return to operate in an ordinary private limited company, but there are too many commercial activities to continue as a foundation. This can be difficult, for example, when raising capital or taking out loans. That is why social enterprises deserve more legal space and appropriate rules. In order to achieve this, preparations are announced for a new form of enterprise: the social company.
The new legal form is relevant for entrepreneurs and organizations that are committed to social goals. These include issues relating to care, education, safety and climate. Not every company dealing with such issues is, by definition, a social company.
- provides a product or service;
- primarily places a corporate purpose above the profit objective and also establishes this in its articles of association;
- reinvests a part of the turnover in achieving the company objective and / or is limited in the distribution of profit and capital;
- identifies its relevant stakeholders and thus enters into dialogue with them at least once a year;
- is transparent on its website about the most material created social value; and
- is able to pursue its own strategy independently of the government.
The government chooses to draft a new statutory regulation in which the social company will be introduced. This regulation will not imply an amendment of the Dutch Civil Code, but will become a separate law allowing entrepreneurs to designate their organisation as a social company, provided that the above conditions are met. Among other things, the regulation will determine how the articles of association should be set up, how the registration with the Trade Register will take place and how the designation ‘’social company’’ will be used.
Knowledge sharing and networking
In addition to the design of the statutory regulation, the services provided by the government to social entrepreneurs will also be improved. The government intends to set up a working group to encourage knowledge sharing and networking between the government and the social company.
The government also wants the government to involve social companies in its procurement and tendering policy. After all, governments can make good use of the social and sustainable solutions offered by social companies. Research should be carried out how more attention can be paid to social companies and reserved assignments.
The aim is to consult a preliminary draft of the new legislation via the internet at the end of the year.