Register a co-operative
Voluntary trading organisations can register as a co-operative if they are owned and managed by their members.
Before you register
Use the list below to make sure you have the supporting evidence needed for your application.
Develop rules that describe the way the group organises its activities and supports the group’s goals. The rules must include the co-operative’s:
- name - include ‘co-operative’ and end with ‘limited’
- primary activity
- what's needed to be an active member
- members’ rights and obligations
- all directors and their qualifications
- meeting procedures.
Distributing co-operatives must prepare a disclosure statement so new members know what's expected of them. The statement outlines the co-operative’s:
- registered office and mailing address
- purpose and main activity
- members’ involvement, including financial
- projected income and expenses
- names of members and directors
- who will act as an auditor, if required.
Apply for prior approval of rules
2. Supporting evidence
Attach a copy of the rules and the disclosure statement.
Lodge your application:
Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5000
4. What happens next
CBS will then send you:
- confirmation of the operating name
- the approved documents
- the application form to register a co-operative.
Meet with members to discuss forming the co-operative. At least five members must attend the meeting and you will need to elect:
You will also need to:
- discuss and present and sign the disclosure statement – distributing co-operative only
- discuss and vote on the rules – two-thirds majority to be adopted
- tell members how they can access the rules
- authorise a contact person for the registration
- complete and sign the application form
- provide and collect membership application forms.
Make sure you discuss and agree on rules before you meet because the cooperative must be formed and approved rules need to be adopted at this meeting.
Register your co-operative
1. Application form
At least five active members must sign the Application to register a co-operative form (280KB PDF) that was completed at the formation meeting and the disclosure statement for distributing co-operatives.
2. Supporting evidence
Attach to your application:
- two copies of the rules signed by the chairperson and secretary of the formation meeting
- a copy of the disclosure statement signed by the chairperson and secretary of the formation meeting
Lodge the form with CBS with the appropriate registration fee:
- proposed or existing co-operative – $421.00
- proposed or existing cooperative (not required under CNL) - $212.00
- disclosure statement registration fee – $212.00