At Co-opLaw.org, we continue to grow our online resource pages that provide legal information, best practices, and supporting tools for cooperatively owned and operated businesses and organizations. There is so much information on Co-opLaw.org, even state-by-state guides! So take a gander. Peruse and enjoy all of the resources we’ve built with friends, comrades, and allies around the country.
We would also like to express our deepest gratitude to our partners at the East Bay Community Law Center who helped us create the initial content for this website.
WE’RE UPDATING OUR WEBSITE!
We know Co-opLaw.org looks a little funky right now, but you’re here for the content, right? Just know that starting January 2019 through September 2021 we’ll be redesigning Co-opLaw.org to make it easier to use, navigate, and interact with!
Have feedback about Co-opLaw.org? Maybe you have an idea about how we can arrange our content, questions about where to find something, want to report a bug in our system (like a broken link), or want to request a new feature on Co-opLaw.org. Please let us know on our feedback form here. Thanks!
Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area?
Want to meet us in person at one of our events?
We typically host at least one event per week in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and beyond, so check out our events page at theselc.org/events.
Looking to receive one-on-one legal support?
Check out our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe direct legal support and resources to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. At the Legal Cafe, we aim to serve 1) entrepreneurs and organizers who come from or work with marginalized communities and communities with high rates of unemployment and poverty, and 2) those working to build the models that will transition our communities from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives.
Topics in our Cooperatives Legal Resource Library:
[Hay recursos en español abajo]
Types of Co-ops:
Worker Cooperatives · Freelancer Cooperatives · Producer and Marketing Cooperatives · Purchasing Cooperatives · Consumer Cooperatives · Energy Cooperatives · Artist Cooperatives · Childcare Cooperatives · Housing Cooperatives · Health Care Cooperatives · Cooperative Banks and Credit Unions · Insurance Cooperatives · Multi-stakeholder Cooperatives
Resources Specifically for Worker Cooperatives:
Think Outside the Boss: A Legal Handbook for Worker Cooperatives · Employee Handbooks · Converting to a Worker Cooperative
· Worker Cooperatives: Performance and Success Factors · Worker Cooperatives and Tax (Subchapter T)
Country-by-Country Co-op Law Info:
Co-ops Outside of the U.S.
Want to help us create other country pages? Email Ricardo [at] theselc.org. Thank you!
Recursos en Español:
Tu Negocio Cooperativa Manual
A short introduction
“If you want to go fast…go alone. If you want to go far…go together.”
Cooperatives aren’t some utopian, hair-brained, hippie scheme. They support an incredibly diverse range of people, from families (did you see the baby above?), to young entrepreneurs, immigrants, and faith-based communities.
Cooperatives – whether consumer, producer, worker, or housing – are turning into the viable, mainstream answer to today’s global financial crisis. Wealth is created everyday in our community, but somehow the wealth we generate flows up, up, and away. Cooperatives keep that wealth in our communities helping to build resilient, local economies.
Worker cooperatives, for example, pay themselves a wage just like any other business. When the business makes a profit (or surplus as its known within a coop), that money is given back to the worker-owners of the business, instead of going to some unknown stockholder with a Swiss bank account. Consumer cooperatives give their members discounts, at-cost rates, or a percentage of the co-ops’ profits. This is usually based on the amount the members “patronized,” or used, the co-op. REI is one of the most successful examples of a consumer cooperative in the States.
You might not know it, but if you’re a member of a Credit Union, you’re a member of a cooperative! Credit Unions are member-owned financial co-ops. Whether you choose to or not, you can vote for your Credit Union’s Board of Directors and tell them how you want the Credit Union to treat the community it serves.The people featured above have decided they want to bring their wealth back to their communities. Will you do the same?
Our Emerging Strategy
Want to know a little more about how Co-opLaw.org fits into our broader vision to build a future where cooperatives are the default organization for our economy? Move through the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Cooperatives Program strategy presentation below!
Can you share and reuse the content on Co-opLaw.org?
Yes! You can! Unless otherwise noted, all of our content is licensed under creative commons for easy sharing, reuse, and adaptation (just remember to attribute the Law Center and share your new version under the same creative commons license). Let’s keep sharing!
Read more below about our license.
Co-opLaw.org is licensed Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).
PLEASE NOTE: Specific webpages on Co-opLaw.org might have content and material that is protected under a different license than the CC BY-SA 4.0 license. Any webpage that contains content that is not covered by the CC BY-SA 4.0 license will be clearly indicated at the top of the page.
Under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license, you are free to
- “share” our content, meaning copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- and “adapt” our content, meaning remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
SELC cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you adhere to the following license terms. You are given license to share and adapt our content ONLY if you adhere to the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. To find out more about this license, please visit the Creative Commons website describing the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.