California Cooperative Corporation Statute

In January 2016, the California Worker Cooperative Act (AB 816) went into effect. The bill created a business entity for worker cooperatives and made it easier for worker cooperatives to seek investments from their communities. Below is a fact sheet explaining the most important provisions of the bill.

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Model Articles of Incorporation & Bylaws for Worker Cooperatives under California’s new law

There are two sets of Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws; one set for a coop with a representative board and community investors, and one set for a collective board coop (all members are on the board). These documents were prepared by members of the California Worker Cooperative Policy Coalition, including: the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), Tuttle Law Group, the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, and Cutting Edge Counsel, adapted from bylaws prepared by Tim Huet and Jenny Kassan.

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Collective Board Model AOI & Bylaws

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Representative Board Model AOI & Bylaws

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Community Investors in California Worker Cooperatives

A more detailed explanation of the community investor securities law exemption is here: 

AB 816 Community Investor Memo.pdf

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California Cooperative Guides

Legal Sourcebook for California Cooperatives : Start-up and Administration : A Legal Guide for Co-ops Incorporating and Operating Under the California Consumer Cooperative Corporation Law
Author: Van P. Baldwin
Editor: University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services
Date of Publication: 2004
Overview: An excellent guide to starting and running a cooperative, including sample formats for legal documents that can be used as templates, covering such topics as:

  • Choice of Entity
  • Pre-Operational Matters
  • Board of Directors and Corporate Officers
  • Basic Corporate Documents
  • Membership
  • Financing Options
  • Reporting and Filing

**Note: this guide has not been updated since AB 816 was passed.

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