On Co-op's Guide to the Co-operative Corporations Act
Ontario’s Co-operative Corporations Act defines what a co-operative is and dictates how co‑operatives must operate. However, because the Act is legislation, written by parliamentarians and lawyers, it uses specialized terms that can be confusing to people outside the legal profession. That’s why On Co-op has written a Guide to the Act — to present the requirements of the Act in plain, accessible language.
At almost 200 pages long, On Co-op's Guide is comprehensive without being overwhelming. It explains the details of the Act, and includes advice about the procedures and protocols that define the operations of co-operatives, along with comments on how certain provisions may be used.
The On Co-op's Guide to the Co-operative Corporations Act was updated in 2012 and is available in a searchable e-version (PDF format) and a soft-cover hard copy. It includes all of the changes made to the Act in 2009 plus other updates. The Guide is available in English only.
- To learn more about the Legislative and Regulatory environment for co-operatives in Ontario, register for On Co-op's online course "The Legislative and Regulatory Framework", (giving you 24/7/365 learning access via computer). This e-learning course includes the following topics: Regulatory and legislative requirements; Governing a co-operative; Maintaining a co-operative; Financing a co-operative; Membership in a co-operative; Changing and dissolving a co-operative.
- Details on how to register for the course, and additional information is found at http://s.coop/coopcourses. This is one of 10 e-learning courses created by On Co-op.
- On Co-op also maintains a library of more than 20 co-op related FactSheets. Search for all of the FactSheets using the 'Documents and Downloads' option from the menu bar up top.
- How to order
- Who should own a copy of the guide?
- What is included in On Co-op’s Guide to the Act?
- What does the Act govern?
$25.00 + HST
$30. 00 + HST
$35.00 + HST
$10.00 + HST
$12.50 + HST
$15.00 + HST
*Both versions include postage to Ontario addresses.
**DISCOUNTS FOR THE ON CO-OP MEMBERSHIP: Most anglophone credit unions and co-operatives in Ontario are either direct dues-paying members of On Co-op (such as The Co-operators, Ag Energy, Gay Lea Foods, The Renewable Energy Co-op, Organic Meadow or Community CarShare), or indirect members by being part of a federation that is a member of On Co-op (i.e., MOMO). Member federations include Central 1 Credit Union, CHF Canada, CWCF/OWCF, GROWMARK, Inc., OPPCEO, OSEA and Ontario Student Co-operative Association.
For a list of our current membership, see our Membership List.
HOW TO ORDER
- For bulk orders of 25 or more electronic or print copies of the Guide, please contact On Co-op directly.
- Payment is by VISA or MasterCARD only.
- You will be asked for your credit card number on the secure online order form, but your order will not be processed (and your card not charged) until a confirmation email has been sent.
- Details on how to access your copy of the e-version of the Guide will be provided after your card has been processed.
- Your printed guide will be shipped within a few days if that is the version you requested. Priority/rush/out of province shipping is available.
- REFUNDS: You may request a refund at any time up until your credit card has been processed. After your credit card has been processed, NO REFUNDS ARE POSSIBLE.
Who should own a copy of the Guide?
Every head office of every co-operative operating in Ontario should have a copy of On Co-op's Guide to the Act. This Guide will be useful for many people, including:
- Senior employees of co-operatives
- Co-operative Board Chairs/presidents, board members and committee members
- Co‑operative federations and associations
- Professionals such as lawyers, accountants and others with co‑op clients
- Business enterprise and business start-up or counselling centres
- Co-operative developers
- Funders and financers of co‑operatives
- Individuals or groups considering incorporating as a co-operative business enterprise
What is included in On Co-op’s Guide to the Act?
For ease of use, the major sections of the Guide match those of Ontario’s Co-operative Corporations Act (“the Act”). Relevant parts of the Act are shown throughout the Guide.
A) WORKING THROUGH THE CO-OPERATIVE CORPORATIONS ACT
1. Starting and Incorporating a Co-op
- Why incorporate
- Articles, bylaws and policies
- What is in the Articles of Incorporation?
- Special rules for worker, non-profit housing and multistakeholder co-operatives
- To whom do you submit your incorporation documents?
- What are policies?
- Decisions your organization should make before filing for incorporation
2. Governing a Co-op
- The powers of a co-op
- The board of directors
- Directors’ liability and conflict of interest
3. Maintaining a Co-op
- Keeping your identity and co-op status secure
- Conducting business with members
- Records and files
- The co-op’s financial statements
- Investigating co-op status and affairs
4. Financing Co-ops
- What does capital mean?
- With share capital or without share capital
- Share capital co-ops
- Issues of shares and transfers of membership shares
- Selling, redeeming and surrendering shares
- Non-share capital co-ops
- Offering statements: Raising capital
- Surplus, profit and distribution
5. Membership in a Co-op
- How is membership determined?
- Withdrawal by members or removal of members
- Member rights and obligations
- Court-ordered meetings
- Limited liability of members
- Members’ meetings
6. Changing a Co-op
- Changing the way the co-op does business or identifies itself
- What Articles of Amendment are required to change a co-op?
- Other changes
7. Shutting Down a Co-op
- The co-op is going to dissolve. What needs to be done?
B) RELATED RESOURCES INCLUDED IN THE GUIDE
1. Special Rules and Resources for…
- Non-Profit Housing Co-ops
- Worker Co-ops
- Multistakeholder Co-operatives
- The guide includes a glossary giving definitions of terms found in the Act.
What does the Act govern?
The Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act governs all co-operatives incorporated in the province of Ontario, with the exception of credit unions and caisses populaires, which are regulated under a different piece of legislation, the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act.
A number of regulations are associated with the Co-operative Corporations Act. They provide additional detail about aspects of the Act related to the incorporation, conduct and dissolution of co-operatives.
The Act is administered by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Finance.