A New Legal Form for Social Enterprises in Asia

(2022) 69 American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming)

67 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2021

See all articles by Ernest Lim

Ernest Lim

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2020

Abstract

This article argues that there should be a new legal form for social enterprises in Asia that takes into account the distinctive contexts within which different types of social enterprises operate in the different Asian jurisdictions, and that is responsive to the evolving needs of social enterprises and the community. This article advances an analytic framework for understanding and evaluating social enterprise law consisting of (1) corporate purpose; (2) directors’ duties; (3) decision-making powers; (4) reporting and certification; and (5) distribution of dividends, assets, and tax benefits. It challenges the dominant assumption that the existing legal forms in Asia are adequate and appropriate to achieve the aims of social enterprises in Asia, using the four leading common law jurisdictions (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India) as a case study. It also critiques the legal forms for social enterprises in the UK and the US and find them unsuitable for adoption by the Asian jurisdictions.

Keywords: Social enterprise, Asia, benefit corporation, community interest company, social purpose corporation

Suggested Citation

Lim, Ernest, A New Legal Form for Social Enterprises in Asia (March 1, 2020). (2022) 69 American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780666

Ernest Lim (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

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