You will require this national registration if you intend to establish a co-operative. A co-operative is a democratic organisation owned and controlled by its members for a common benefit. Co-operatives can be formed for a specific purpose or for providing a service (for example, a kindergarten or wine club).
A co-operative legally registered in one jurisdiction is able to operate on a national basis without the need for further registration or reporting requirements in each state.
There are two types of co-operatives that may be established:
- Distributing co-operatives: It must have shared capital and at least 5 active members, and has the ability to distribute part of the surplus of the co-operative to members by way of bonus shares, dividends or rebates.
- Non-distributing co-operatives: It must have at least 5 active members and must not distribute any of the surplus to members, any surplus funds generated must be used to support its activities. This model is often used for community organisations.
An existing co-operative may alter its rules to change from one type of co-operative to the other. This alteration must be approved by ballot.
This document provides further information about applying for a Co-operative Registration. To apply, complete the Application to Register a Co-Operative form. Other forms and related documents are available on the Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading website.
Please consult the Contact Officer for more information.