There are nine steps to registering a co-operative:
- Make sure you have at least 5 members
- Decide on the type of co-operative - Decide whether it is best to be a distributing co-operative, or a non-distributing co-op with or without share Capital.
- Identify one or more primary activities - You must identify at least one activity of the co-operative that both reflects its basic purpose and makes a significant contribution to the business.
- Decide on how active membership will be measured - You need to decide how a member must use or support the primary activity of the co-op so he or she remains an active member. Only one active membership provision is required even if your co-op has more than one primary activity.
- Draft the proposed rules - Complete the form Application for approval of proposed rules of a co-operative (Form 1). Obtain a copy of the model rules. The rules must indicate the active membership provisions, and set out a statement of primary activity. It is a good idea to get a group of proposed members to agree on the draft rules beforehand as they will need to be passed by two thirds majority vote at the formation meeting.
- Submit fees and documentation for review by the registrar - At least 35 days prior to proposed formation meeting. Submit with appropriate fee.
- Distributing co-operatives only - Draft the disclosure statement co-operatives (Form 02). You can use the disclosure statement template.
- Rules (and disclosure statement if applicable) approved by registrar and returned
- Hold formation meeting - This is when prospective members will vote to accept the rules, sign membership applications and elect the board of directors.
- Submit completed documents to the registrar
- Application for registration of a co-operative (Form 03)
- A certified copy of the rules and the disclosure statement (if applicable) are also required.
- In addition statement of director details (Form 04), should be submitted.
The registrar sends a registration certificate and a copy of the registered rules to the co-operative after approval.