How to start a co-op

Starting a co-op is different to starting any other business.

The same basic rules must be followed, but some additional steps must be added because a group is involved in reaching decisions at every step in the conception, planning and launch. SAOS has many years of experience in this activity and can provide advice and assistance in all of the following basic steps:

  • Promote the idea to ascertain whether there is interest in joint venture co-operation
  • Establish a working group to begin work on researching and developing a commercial proposition
  • Develop a business proposal based on market research, a feasibility study and financial evaluation
  • Determine the business structure best able to accommodate participants’ needs, and which will enable the business to succeed. Follow the link for more information on structures for co-operation
  • Prepare a business plan and prospectus to enable prospective members to evaluate the potential benefits and risks to their business from joining
  • Obtain a decision from all prospective members on whether or not to proceed. This may require a well organised open meeting at which questions can be asked
  • Register the business, establish a board of directors, recruit management and implement the business plan.