Cooperative Associations

COVID-19 Updates

Based on guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, the B.C. Health Minister, and Health Canada, the Registrar has granted an extension for all Cooperatives that wish to delay their Annual General Meeting (AGM) for a period of six months.

  • You do not need to make an application to the registrar to request a delay of your AGM
  • You must inform your members that the AGM has been delayed

Cooperatives now have the option of hosting virtual or hybrid meetings even if the cooperative’s rules and with the Cooperative Association Act, the Business Corporations Act, the Societies Act, and any regulations under these acts that state otherwise.

  • This is the result of a ministerial order that will remain in force for the duration of the current state of emergency
  • Where a notice is required, instructions for participation can be provided in lieu of a physical location

In B.C., a cooperative association (co-op) is an organization that is owned and operated by the people who use and benefit from its services. Co-ops help develop communities and create jobs by offering a range of supports such as housing, food, health care, and many other essential products and services.

Legislation

Specific legislation and regulation govern how cooperative associations operate in B.C. Before you can operate a co-op, you must incorporate the association under the Cooperative Association Act. 

Incorporation provides a co-op with an independent legal status separate from its members. As a legal entity, a co-op can enter into contracts or incur debt in its own name with the same legal rights and obligations of an individual. 

Incorporating a B.C. Co-op

An incorporation process provides a co-op with an independent legal status separate from its members. As a legal entity, a co-op can enter into contracts, or incur debt in its own name, with the same legal rights and obligations of an individual. 

Incorporating a co-op can be more complex than incorporating a traditional company. Retaining a lawyer, accountant, or consultant may save time and effort. Registry staff can help you, but cannot offer legal advice. Approval takes between 15 to 30 working days once all documents are received.

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