Co-operative

This is a popular structure for community groups, as it shares the responsibility of running the group between members who all have equal rights and shares in the organisation.

A co-operative is defined by constitution, and may allow individual members to vote on issues, or at least to elect a management committee to make decisions on their behalf is it is suitably large.

Co-operatives are generally not-for-profit, and provide limited liability for members.  They are also set up for the benefit of members – not for a community – and this should be reflected in the constitution.

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has published seven principles which co-operatives should follow.

 Read more about co-operatives at the ICA website.

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This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.