Register a co-operative

Voluntary trading organisations can register as a co-operative if they're owned and managed by their members.

Before you register

Make sure you have all the supporting evidence you need for your application.

Co-operative rules

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.

Disclosure statement

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

1. Application

Complete the Application to approve co-operative name, rules and formation disclosure statement (550KB PDF)

2. Supporting evidence

Attach a copy of the rules and the disclosure statement.

3. Lodgement

Lodge your application:

By post

Consumer and Business Services
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5000

By email

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.

Formation meeting

Meet with members to discuss forming the co-operative.  At least five members must attend the meeting and you will need to elect:

  • directors
  • a chair
  • a secretary.

You'll 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. 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

3. Lodgement

Lodge the form with CBS with the appropriate registration fee:

  • proposed or existing co-operative  – $438.00
  • proposed  or existing cooperative (not required under CNL) - $220.00
  • disclosure statement registration fee – $220.00

Contact CBS Associations and Cooperatives


Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

Related information

On this site


Other websites

Fees for co-operatives - CBS

Was this page useful?

Thanks for contributing - your feedback helps us improve this website.

Page last updated 15 February 2023

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2023