In B.C., a cooperative association (co-op) is an organization that is owned and operated by the people who use and benefit from its services. Co-ops help develop communities and create jobs by offering a range of supports such as housing, food, health care, and many other essential products and services.
Specific legislation and regulation govern how cooperative associations operate in B.C. Before you can operate a co-op, you must incorporate the association under the Cooperative Association Act.
Incorporation provides a co-op with an independent legal status separate from its members. As a legal entity, a co-op can enter into contracts or incur debt in its own name with the same legal rights and obligations of an individual.
- Learn about the Cooperative Association Act and Regulation
- Learn about the British Columbia Co-operative Association
Incorporating a B.C. Co-op
An incorporation process provides a co-op with an independent legal status separate from its members. As a legal entity, a co-op can enter into contracts, or incur debt in its own name, with the same legal rights and obligations of an individual.
Incorporating a co-op can be more complex than incorporating a traditional company. Retaining a lawyer, accountant, or consultant may save time and effort. Registry staff can help you, but cannot offer legal advice. Approval takes between 15 to 30 working days once all documents are received.