Thursday, December 8, 2022
Appleby & Stein: Multistate Business Entities
Andrew D. Appleby (Stetson; Google Scholar) & Tomer Stein (Stetson), Multistate Business Entities, 55 Ariz. St. L.J. __ (2023):
The binary legislative choice between state and federal regulation of a firm’s internal affairs is deeply entrenched in the existing literature and policy discussions. Alas, this regulatory menu contains a false and distortive dichotomy. The state-federal dichotomy is false because multistate formation and regulation of business entities are possible as well. This dichotomy is distortive because it deprives policymakers of the advantages of multistate corporations and other business entities. In this Article, we demonstrate that a multistate business entities regime can resolve multiple predicaments that presently bring about unfairness and inefficiencies in both business entities law and business entities taxation.
A multistate business entity regime promises to be beneficial for both the participating states and the business entities themselves. For example, by choosing to co-compete, states that have so far lost in the market for corporate charters would be able to generate—and divide among themselves—substantial business and tax revenues by offering the corporations formed under their regime unique tax and corporate law benefits. In this way, for example, a “tri-state” co-op, offered by New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey, could compete with Delaware; and a “rust belt” coalition could retain industry charters within its multistate jurisdiction.
The hitherto unnoticed potential for a multistate entity regime aligns with the Framers’ vision for state cooperation under the Constitution’s Compact Clause. Further yet, setting up this regime would vastly improve the functioning of the market for both corporate charters and other business entities. This regime would allow states to vigorously compete for both managers and investors, boost stakeholder advocacy, and accomplish ESG goals to the benefit of their constituents.