Entities that want to register as a Cooperative Society must comply with the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Ordinance 1952 (‘the Ordinance’).
What is a Co-operative Society?
A Co-operative Society is an organization that is formed by a group of people whose primary objective is the promotion of the economic interests of its members. This is achieved by the Cooperative sharing its profits amongst its members, in proportion to their contribution to the Cooperative’s business, from which its overall profits are derived.
This is the main difference between a Cooperative Society and an Incorporated Society. Members of an incorporated society are not allowed to benefit individually from the profits of the Incorporated Society with the Incorporated Society specifically prohibited from earning a “pecuniary gain”.
Some of the aspects of a Co-operative Society include:
- A Minimum of 10 members (for cooperative societies of which no members are part of another society).
- Has created by laws which outline the Society’s operations.
- Prohibition of the use of the word “co-operative” – in accordance with section 56(1) of the Ordinance, no person other than a registered society shall trade or carry on business under any name or title which includes the word “co-operative” without the direction of the Head of State.
- Pursuant to section 56(2) of the Ordinance, any person who contravenes the above requirement is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10. If the offence continues, the person will be liable to a further fine not exceeding $2 for each day during which the offence continues.
The following documents are required for registration:
- Form 4 (Regulation 7) – List of Officers (Chairman, Secretary, Committee members)
- Application for the Registration of a Society. The application form must be signed by at least 10 members
- Form 3 – List of members
- By-laws that the Society will adopt.
- Payment of the Registration fee of $90.
Every Cooperative Society is required to file a Financial Statement annually to the Registrar at a fee of $24.