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Legal & Taxation Issues

 

Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Member Agreements

The Articles of Incorporation legally establish the cooperative organization as specified by state statute.

Articles of Incorporation for Cooperatives, including a Sample Outline -- from How to Start a Cooperative USDA CIR 45

Sample Legal Documents for Cooperatives USDA Cooperative Information Report 40

State of Wisconsin Incorporation Forms

Limited Cooperative Association Statutes: An Update

 


Bylaws and Member Agreements

A comprehensive set of bylaws provides a solid foundation for cooperative governance and administration into the future.

Guidelines for Cooperative Bylaws -- developed by the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Bylaws for Cooperatives, including a Sample Outline -- from How to Start a Cooperative
USDA CIR 45

Membership Applications for Cooperatives, including a Sample Outline -- from How to Start a Cooperative USDA CIR 45

 

Other - Legal

Revolving Patron-Member Equity in Cooperatives: Obligations and Expectations
University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Comparing Nonprofit and Cooperative Entities; FAQs
University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

Webinar: Understanding the Legalities of Your Business, December 2013

Webinar: Legal Issues and Alternative Equity Strategies for Cooperatives, September 2013

The Sustainable Economies Law Center

State Incorporation Statutes for Farmer Cooperatives
USDA CIR 30 (18 PDF files in a zip archive)

Solidarity as a Business Model: A Multi-Stakeholder Cooperatives Manual  
Cooperative Development Center@Kent State University

Table: Comparison of Wisconsin Statute 185 - Cooperatives and Statute 193 - Wisconsin Cooperative Associations Act, UWCC Fact Sheet

Legal Manual for Small Rural Home Cooperatives
University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, September 2005

Co-op Counsel's Corner: A Comparison Between Condominiums and Cooperatives
Originally published in Homestead Happenings, the Homestead Housing Center Newsletter - 4th Quarter 1996

Understanding Capper Volstead
USDA Cooperative Information Report 35

Taxation

Cooperatives are subject to many of the same tax rules as other businesses, but there are specific tax benefits to businesses operating on a cooperative basis.

Antitrust Status of Farmer Cooperatives: The Story of the Capper-Volstead Act  USDA CIR 59 

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives  USDA CIR 45, Sec 8

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Background  USDA CIR 44, part 1

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Patronage Refunds and other Income Issues USDA CIR 44, part 2

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Distributions, Retains, Redemptions, and Patrons' Taxation
USDA CIR 44, part 3

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Internal Revenue Code Section 521  USDA CIR 44, part 4

Income Tax Treatment of Cooperatives: Handling of Losses  USDA CIR 44, part 5

 

Other -- Tax

The Cooperative Accountant  National Society of Accountants for Cooperatives

 

NCERA-194 Research on Cooperatives - Publications

UWCC Archives