Choosing the correct organizational structure and business model are important parts of the co-operative development process. Your structure will impact how your organization functions, so understanding the options and what will work for your group is very important. Forming a co-operative may or may not be the right solution for your group’s needs, so understanding the pros and cons of the models and structures is an important step in setting up your organization for success.
In Saskatchewan, there are several varieties of co-operatives your organization can incorporate as. Include factors such as these in your decision-making to determine the type of co-op you want to become:
- What services/products will the co-op provide to members?
- Who will the members be, and what will be their obligations?
- Who will be members of the steering committee, the first board of directors, and the first members?
- Can non-members can be involved in the co-op, and if so, how?
Below, we’ve included links to a few resources that may be helpful, but please contact us if you need more help. You may also need or want to consult a lawyer to help with this part of your development process.
On Co-op Fact Sheets about Business Models and Organizational Structure
(please note that requirements and options in Saskatchewan may differ from Ontario)
- Co-operatives and Charities
- Choosing Federal or Provincial Co-op Incorporation
- Co-ops are Different From Business Corporations
- On Co-op’s Co-op Development Toolkit, with other FactSheets and helpful information
Understanding Co-operative, Charitable, and Non-Profit Law by Robert Dobrohoczki:
A work commissioned by Saskatchewan Co-operative Association and Le Conseil Économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan to clarify the relationship between co-operative law and non-profit and charitable status in Saskatchewan. Available materials include:
Other Resources and Structures
Social Enterprise Legal Structure - In 2011, funded by the Institute for Non-profit Studies (Mount Royal University), the BC Centre for Social Enterprise partnered with the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development to develop a research project whose purpose was to canvass social entrepreneurs and social economy experts with respect to the prospects and potential drawbacks associated with pursuing a separate legal structure for social enterprise in Canada. http://www.centreforsocialenterprise.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/selsreport.pdf