Meeting the members – formation meeting

A proposed co-operative must have a formation meeting before it can be registered. At least five prospective members who are eligible to join as active members must attend (unless the Registrar approves a smaller number).

The approved proposed rules will be discussed and officially adopted at the formation meeting by a two-thirds majority vote by the proposed inaugural members attending the formation meeting. A resolution should be moved that the co-operative be formed and approved rules be adopted.

A two-thirds majority vote at the meeting is also required to authorise the application for registration of the co-operative. The application must be on the approved form. All proposed members sign an application for membership.

A co-operative group requires a representative of each of at least two co-operatives which are qualified to be members to attend a formation meeting.

The proposed members will elect their first board of directors according to the proposed rules, who will serve until the co-operative holds its first annual general meeting.
They may also elect members of any other committees, such as planning committees and training committees.

The proposed members will also authorise a person to apply for registration of the proposed co-operative and to do anything necessary to have the proposed co-operative registered. The co-operative’s business plan should be adopted, approval given if the co-operative is to be a member of a co-operative peak body, and an external auditor appointed.

A distributing co-operative, or non-distributing co-operative required by the Registrar, must present the approved formation disclosure statement to the meeting.

Within two months of the meeting, the following must be forwarded to the Registrar:

  • The completed application for registration form signed by at least five of the proposed members, including two of the elected directors, attending the formation meeting (unless
    fewer are approved by the Registrar).
  • Two copies of the approved proposed rules and (if required) the disclosure statement, both certified in writing by the chairperson and secretary of the formation meeting.
  • A statement of the particulars of the directors elected at the meeting on the specified form.
  • A statement of the address of the co-operative’s proposed registered office.
  • The registration fee.

The Registrar will return a registration certificate, a copy of the registered rules and (if applicable) the approved disclosure statement.