Rules in a co-operative

A co-operative's rules should support clear communication and help the co-operative be inclusive, fair and open with its members.

The rules act as a contract between the co-operative and:

  • each member
  • each director, chief executive officer and secretary
  • between members.

A co-operative’s rules outline:

  • the purpose of the co-operative
  • rights and responsibilities of committee and members
  • financial responsibilities
  • how problems and complaints are handled
  • how to change rules
  • powers of members and the board
  • procedures for meetings and how decisions are made.

Use the model rules to help you understand your legal responsibilities and to include what is relevant for your co-operative.

Changing the rules

Rules can be changed by:

  • special resolution at a general meeting
  • post ballot if the rules allow for it
  • the board, if directed by Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

Before you call a meeting

CBS must approve proposed changes to rules that cover:

  • active membership
  • moving from a non-distributing to a distributing co-operative
  • a registered club, which restricts the voting rights of some members.

How to apply

  1. Application form

    Complete and sign the Application for prior approval of rule amendment/s – form C11 (282.KB PDF)

  2. Supporting evidence

    Attach a draft of the proposed changes and a statement showing the reasons for the changes to your application.

  3. Lodgement

    Post

    CBS Licensing and Registration
    GPO Box 1719
    Adelaide SA 5001

    Email
    associations@agd.sa.gov.au

Meeting to change the rules

You must give members at least 21 days’ notice of a general meeting to change the rules. The notice must state:

  • the changes
  • the reason for proposing the changes
  • how the changes will affect members and the co-operative.

If the changes relate to active membership, they must also:

  • state if the member can vote
  • include the full text of the proposed resolution
  • include a copy of the Act about cancelling memberships when inactive – section 156 CNL.

At least 60% of eligible voters need to pass the resolution for it to be approved (unless existing rules state a higher percentage).

Registering the changes

You need to register the changes with CBS before they can take effect.

  1. Application

    Complete the Application to register rule amendment/s (form C10) (285KB PDF) – signed by an authorised person for the co-operative.

  2. Supporting evidence

    Attach a copy of the rules, including the changes, to your application.

  3. Lodgement

    Post

    CBS Licensing and Registration
    GPO Box 1719
    Adelaide SA 5001

    Email
    associations@agd.sa.gov.au

Contact CBS Associations and Cooperatives

Email: associations@sa.gov.au

Phone: 131 882

Post:
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001


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Page last updated 5 August 2020

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/family-and-community/community-organisations/setting-up-a-community-organisation/rules-in-a-co-operative
Last Updated:
05/08/20
Printed on:
05/12/20
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2020
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