Starting a Cooperative – Preface

This guide outlines the process of organizing and financing a cooperative business. Rather than being a complete handbook, this publication represents the most important elements to consider when forming a cooperative.  It lists what special expertise is necessary, and where to look for help.

Earlier versions of this publication emphasized working with groups of agricultural producers to develop markets and sources of supply for farm operators.  This version has been broadened to also include nonfarm cooperative applications.  the cooperative business structure, already shown to be successful in agriculture, also has been useful in helping others obtain desired benefits or provide needed services in areas like housing, utilities, finance, health care, child care, and small business support.

Cooperative Information Report 7
Revised September 1996

Galen Rapp and Gerald Ely

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