Finance a co-operative

How to finance a co-operative

Under the Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act, co-operatives can incorporate in one of two ways: with share capital and without share capital. Each structure offers options and benefits for raising money or carrying on operations. The co-operative's purpose and financing requirements will determine the correct choice.

Both a share structure and a non-share capital structure may be able to provide the co-operative with the necessary funds. Each choice carries benefits and drawbacks that may make different options available as time goes on, or restrict future choices. Some banks and financers may not be comfortable with the non-share capital structure, which may limit the ability of the co-operative to raise money.

The decisions around share structure and corporate structure can be complex, and will require a clear idea of the co-operative's purpose and business plan. A Co-op Developer, Lawyer or Accountant (preferably one who is knowledgeable about co-operatives) can help advise a group with making the choice of structure. Visit our Co-op Service Providers page to find a consultant who is familiar with the co-operative business model,

Visit our Financing Your Co-operative page to learn more.