Registration as a Co-operative - New South Wales

Service summary

A group of people intending to form a co-operative must register with NSW Fair Trading. A co-operative is a legal entity that is owned and controlled by members. As a legal entity, a co-operative has a corporate status similar to a company that can enter into contracts, sue or be sued, and purchase property.

Co-operatives are based on the International Principles of Co-operation and may be formed for a specific purpose to undertake a variety of activities. Co-operatives are required to conform to usual business controls.

Please note that a new Co-operatives National Law (CNL) commenced on 3 March 2014. The CNL introduces new laws for the registration of co-operatives. Please contact Registry Services at NSW Fair Trading for further information regarding these requirements.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible to register you must have at least 5 people.


Registration remains valid unless cancelled or wound up.



Fees are listed on the attached document.


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There are three steps to registering a new co-operative under the Co-operatives National Law (NSW) (the CNL):

  1. Approval of a set of rules by the Registrar. A draft disclosure statement for distributing co-operatives must also be approved and for other co-operatives if required by the Registrar.
  2. Once approved, a formation meeting is held to formally adopt the rules and, where a disclosure statement is required, to present the disclosure statement to prospective members.
  3. After the formation meeting, an application to register a co-operative form is lodged with the Registrar.

Please consult Registry Services for more information on these requirements

Administering agency

Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
NSW Fair Trading

Act(s) name

Co-operatives (Adoption of National Law) Act 2012 (New South Wales)

Regulation(s) name

Co-operatives National Regulations (New South Wales)

Contact details

Registry Services
Department of Finance, Services and Innovation
NSW Fair Trading

Mailing address:
Bathurst, New South Wales 2795


02 6333 1400


1800 502 042

Supporting information


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