One of the first steps to getting your coop incorporated is to write articles of incorporation for your state. Most states deal with this through the office of the Secretary of State, but a few don't. Articles themselves, though, are a fairly simple document, even if the whole thing is in legalese. One thing about Articles of Incorporation is that they are a brief document, and you can read through them in just a minute or so. The contents are simple enough that you should be able to get an idea of what you would need to change in reading them, and then those changes can be run by
Governance Info / Legal Documents
Policies on member debt, from College Houses (Austin, TX).
Tools for developing your vision
Attached you will find the MSU Student Housing Cooperative's Code of Operations. The code is their collection of corporate policies. It changes and grows as their membership's needs change and grow. Changes to the Code of Operations are generally made by their Board of Directors, but they can also be changed by the membership through a petition and referendum process.
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.
This is from Steve Dubb's workshop on community asset mapping at Institute 2010.