Developing a co-op, by Russ Christianson.
Co-operatives are a well-proven model for doing business and providing for people’s needs. They have a very successful track record in Canada, with nearly fifteen million members of co-ops, credit unions and caisses populaires.
Why Form a Co-op?
This, of course, is the key question. What are the reasons people form co-ops instead of regular corporations? In many ways, co-ops are similar to any business corporation:
- Like corporate shareholders, members of co-ops enjoy limited liability.
- Co-ops can and do operate in every sector of the economy.
- Like any business, co-operatives have to meet the needs of their customers (members) to survive and prosper.
- Co-ops and corporations are viewed as “natural persons” under the law, and are therefore able to enter into contractual arrangements.
- Like any business, co-ops need to generate more cash than they spend.
- Co-op’s day-to-day business operations are professionally managed like any other business.
- Every province and the Canadian government have legislation that regulate co-operatives and corporations.
- Co-ops can be either for profit or non-profit organizations.
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