Registration of a new co-operative under the Co-operatives Act 1992 is a 3 step process:
Prior to registering a co-operative, it is important the group investigate the feasibility and legal requirements of the co-operative’s proposed activities.
To assist with the formation of a co-operative, the Registry has developed a set of rules and a standard disclosure statement. These may be downloaded from the Fair Trading website www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or by calling Registry Services on freecall 1800 502 042.
Prospective members, directors and employees can prepare these documents, however the services of an accountant or solicitor may be required.
A co-operative’s rules describe the way in which the group organises its activities. They must include certain matters required by the Act. Some of these are listed below:
|IMPORTANT - Discuss the draft rules with prospective members and decide on any changes before submitting them to the Registry for formal approval. Of particular importance is the active membership rule which should set out precisely what members need to do to contribute to the co-operative and to maintain their membership.|
The disclosure statement ensures that prospective members know the nature and extent of their financial involvement or liability as a member of the co-operative. It outlines areas such as the:
The draft rules and disclosure statement should be submitted to the Registry for approval at least 28 days before the formation meeting.
The Registry will then:
Once you have received the Application for registration and the approved rules and disclosure statement, arrange the formation meeting and let prospective members know.
You must have at least five prospective members attending the meeting.
Before the meeting you need to:
A formation meeting is held to finalise the particulars of the co-operative. A description of what will take place at the meeting is discussed below:
Elect a chairperson to run the meeting and a secretary to keep a written record of the meeting.
Discuss the contents of the rules and disclosure statement to make sure everyone understands them.
If prospective members want to change the rules, the Registry will need to approve these changes and another formation meeting will need to be held to accept the rules. You can avoid this by discussing the rules before the meeting.
If there are no changes to the rules, move that the co-operative be formed and the rules be adopted.
|IMPORTANT – Two-thirds of prospective members must vote to adopt the rules to become a co-operative.|
Vote to elect the co-operative’s board of directors according to the co-operative’s rules.
Each member at the meeting needs to complete the Application for membership form.
These application forms must be signed and witnessed and kept for the co-operative’s records.
At the meeting, authorise someone to liaise with the Registry to complete the registration process.
Once you have voted to adopt the co-operative’s rules and disclosure statement, the chairperson and secretary of the formation meeting need to sign two copies of the rules certifying they are approved and the disclosure statement certifying it is approved.
To register the co-operative the following people need to sign the Application for registration form:
Within two months of the formation meeting, you need to send the Registry:
The Registry will then:
PO Box 22
154 Russell Street
Bathurst NSW 2795
Tel: 6333 1400
Freecall: 1800 502 042
Fax: 6333 1444
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