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Cooperative and Co-op Business Forms

Advantages of a Cooperative Association

Cooperatives, also known as co-ops or coops, are voluntary community associations and business entities owned by a cluster of people who have definite rights and duties. In a co-operative entity, members voluntarily work together for their common cultural, social and economic benefit.

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Usually, the relationship between the owners of a cooperative business and the business entity is more involved than merely investing funds in the business. Often, the owners of a cooperative business will be producers, consumers, or employees of the business. In a cooperative business entity, members pool resources and work together to attain a common objective.

There are several types of co-operative business models. Some of the most common types of co-ops are a co-op apartment building, a producers coop, a farmers coop, utility cooperatives, housing cooperatives, and credit unions. A credit union is a kind of cooperative bank in which the members of the union manage the actions of the financial concern.

Co-operatives can be formed as a worker co-operative or a consumer co-operative. A Worker co-operative is formed by the people who work there and a consumer co-operative is formed by the public who use its services.

These days, healthcare associated cooperatives have emerged as a substitute to a publicly run healthcare organization. Health care cooperatives are formed by hospitals or doctors and are formed at national, state, or local level. These health care co-operatives can be formed as a small business or as large Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). Two of the largest consumer-owned HMOs in U.S. are HealthPartners, Inc., and Group Health Cooperative.

Starting a cooperative business is a good entrepreneurial opportunity. However, you can avoid failure in business by buying an established franchise and taking advantage of their successful track record. Before starting a cooperatives business, it will be wise to consider whether franchising might work for you. Many established business enterprises franchise a business. Nowadays a franchise opportunity can be identified online. Many websites offers franchise for sale ads. The US Legal Forms website provides state-specific, easily downloadable forms on cooperatives.

What is a co-op depends upon the nature and purpose for which it is created. Countries such as Canada offer highly competitive university co op programs, otherwise known as co-ops, where students apply to and compete for enrollment, as admission is restricted. It is totally different from a co-ops business entity where the business is controlled and owned by those who make use of its services.


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