Incorporating a Co-operative

Before a co-operative can become incorporated, the Registrar of Co-operatives must be satisfied that the intended members understand the unique elements of co-operatives including: an understanding of the operation of the by-laws and that the member’s investments are not at unusual risk.

Three or more persons may incorporate as a co-operative.

Further, to incorporate a co-operative certain legislative requirements must be met. Incorporators of co-operatives shall send to the Registrar the following documentation:

  • Articles of Incorporation (67 KB) as required by section 8 of the Act.
  • Business plan.
  • By-laws of the co-operative.
  • Name of the co-operative.
  • Registered address of the co-operative.
  • The required fee (58 KB) for incorporation.

Articles of Incorporation

The Name

The articles of incorporation must set out the name of the co-operative. A name for a proposed co-operative should be approved prior to incorporation and must include the word “co-operative” in the name. (See Name Approval)

Place of Business

The location of the place of business must be stated in the articles. A post office box is not sufficient. The physical location must be properly described.

Share Capital

Where there is share capital, incorporators must state: the par value of the shares, the maximum number of shares where the shares are limited, whether the shares are limited or unlimited and whether there are common and preferred shares, the par value of each share and special preferences, rights, etc., attaching thereto.


The minimum number of Directors shall be 3. There is no limit on the maximum number of directors permitted. Directors must be the age of majority which is 19.

Restrictions, if any, on Transfer Shares

These provisions may include pre-emptive rights, restrictions on transfer of shares, etc.

Objects and Purposes of the Co-operative

The objects are important for assisting the registrar understand the co-operative nature of the enterprise.

Other Articles, if any

This section requires additional information if the regulation prescribes other articles.


Provisions in by-laws may be set out in the articles.

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