How to Start a Cooperative
This guide outlines the process of organizing and financing a cooperative business. Rather than being a complete handbook, this publication represents the most important elements to consider when forming a cooperative. It lists what special expertise is necessary, and where to look for help.
A cooperative is a business owned and controlled by the people who use its services. They finance and operate the business or service for their mutual benefit. By working together, they can reach an objective that would be unattainable if acting alone.
The purpose of the cooperative is to provide greater benefits to the members such as increasing individual income or enhancing a member’s way of living by providing important needed services. The cooperative, for instance, may be the vehicle to obtaining improved markets or providing sources of supplies or other services otherwise unavailable if members acted alone.