The Democracy at Work Institute is building a comprehensive Resource Library that will include a wide range of materials, including academic papers, start-up toolkits, curriculum samples, actual documents from existing worker cooperatives, and more. The topic list below provides a map of the resources that will be available. We are also continuing to publish additional resources on a daily basis.
Presented by Daniel Miller (NASCO Staff) & David "Rosebud" Sparer (Herrick & Kasdorf, LLP)
Why do co-ops become legal corporations? What does it take to incorporate? What are the pros and cons of different legal statuses? What does non-profit status do for a co-op, and does your co-op qualify? These resources will help give answers to these questions and more, with specific examples to help your co-op.
These are the bylaws for Qumbya Housing Cooperative (Chicago, IL). Qumbya is a multi-house system with 3 houses and about 50 members. It has one part-time staff person.
These sample bylaw can give you an idea of some simple boilerplate language for incorporating your coop. Of course, a coop should get these bylaws looked at before submitting them, but these should give you a good idea of what you may want to do, and let you change things where you need to do so in order to make these match your needs.
Creating bylaws and policy in student cooperatives
Tools for developing your vision
There are a lot of reasons why coop groups decide to incorporate. This document lists some of the main areas where your group will benefit from being an "official" corporation.