The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
A co-operative is a member-owned business structure with at least five members, all of whom have equal voting rights regardless of their level of involvement or investment. All members are expected to help run the cooperative.
A co-operative is a separate legal entity and members, directors, managers and employees are not liable for any debts incurred unless they are the result of recklessness, negligence or fraud.
A co-operative usually only allows a limited distribution of profits to members (some don’t allow any). This business structure encourages a democratic style of management and promotes the concepts of sharing resources and delegation to increase competitiveness.
Specific rules (forming a contract) must be developed to register a co-operative. Find out more from the Department of Commerce.