Legal & Taxation

Wisconsin Cooperative Statutes

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Chapter 185

Chapter 185 Cooperative Corporations (March 2018)

Summary of 2017 Changes to Wisconsin’s Cooperative Law Chapter 185: Cooperative Corporations. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2017.

FAQ on Member Control and the 2017 Revisions to Chapter 185. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2018.

Act 76. Revises certain provisions in Chapter 185, 2017.

Act 76 Memo. Summarizes changes to Chapter 185. Wisconsin Legislative Council, 2017.

Chapter 193

Chapter 193. Unincorporated Cooperative Associations (February 2014)

Comparison of Wisconsin Chapter 185 v. Chapter 193. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2019.


Cooperative Statutes by State

Comprehensive review of cooperative law by state

Other Cooperative Legal Structures

Comparing Business Structures. Includes comparison of Wisconsin Statutes 185 and 193. UWCC Center for Cooperatives, 2019.

Comparing Nonprofit and Cooperative Entities. University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, 2015.

Limited Cooperative Association Statutes: An Update. University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, 2008.


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Articles of Incorporation

Sample Articles of Incorporation. USDA Cooperative Information Report 7, How to Start a Cooperative, 2015.

Bylaws and Member Agreements

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

Sample Bylaws. Bylaws for Cooperatives, Including a Sample Outline. Excerpted from USDA Cooperative Information Report 7, How to Start a Cooperative, 2015.

Bylaws and Operating Agreements: A Guide for Worker Cooperatives. Democracy at Work Institute, 2015.

Sample Worker Co-op Bylaws. Democracy at Work Institute, 2013.

Other Legal Resources

Worker Co-ops: FAQs about Employment Status. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2017.

Legal Guide to Cooperative Conversions: A Business Owner’s Legal Guide to Cooperative Conversion, Including Conversion Models, Case Studies, and Sample Documents. Sustainable Economies Law Center/East Bay Community Law Center, Green-Collar Communities Clinic, 2016.

Revolving Patron-Member Equity in Cooperatives: Obligations and Expectations. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2015.

Legal Primer for Formation of Consumer-Owned Food Cooperatives. Food Co-op Initiative, 2010.

Legal Manual for Small Rural Home Cooperatives. UW Center for Cooperatives, 2005.

Antitrust Status of Farmer Cooperatives: The Story of the Capper-Volstead Act. United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative Information Report 59, 2002.

Understanding Capper-Volstead. United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative Information Report 35, 1995.

Sample Legal Documents for Cooperatives. United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative Information Report 40, Reprinted 1995.


Impact of Tax Reform on Agricultural Cooperatives Powerpoint. NCERA-210, 2018.

What Are Patronage Funds? United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative Information Report 9, 1993.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has an extensive library of useful publications, especially those related to agricultural producer cooperatives.