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Resources for Co-ops

Steps to Launch a Co-op

The formation of a successful co-op is rooted in the needs of potential members and their communities, economic opportunities in the marketplace, and the support of other co-operatives and support organizations. In some cases, a co-op can be formed through the conversion of an existing business. Whatever its beginnings, co-operative enterprise requires vision, commitment, passion and hard work. It can be a long road from an idea to filing articles of incorporation and opening for business. One of your best resources will be other co-ops that have experience with the process of starting — and maintaining — a co-operative enterprise.

There are many resources that can help you form a new co-operative. It is an exciting, rewarding and challenging undertaking. Click for NEFU’s list of key steps to start a co-op.

State-by-State Co-op Statutes

Each state has unique laws governing the establishment and operation of co-ops. NEFU is developing a manual of legal requirements by state, for all of the New England states.

Other Resources

Because of the unique nature of the co-operative structure, co-ops find that they benefit from working with other co-ops and service providers who are knowledgeable about the co-operative model. Here is a short list of associations in our region that may be able to offer guidance on next steps:

The United States Department of Agriculture also offers a lot of information on line that is particularly relevant to co-ops involved in the food system.

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