What is a cooperative

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In all economic, social and cultural areas, innovative business ideas are implemented in the legal form of a cooperative. New cooperatives bundle the core competencies of their members, offer products and services from a single source as well as training and further education offers for their members.
Cooperative companies are an important factor in the Federal Republic of Germany. Every fourth citizen benefits from belonging to a cooperative. Traditional cooperatives are, for example, credit cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives or purchasing and sales cooperatives for trade and craft as well as housing cooperatives.

The cooperative is - regardless of the pursuit of further goals - a commercial enterprise and can be founded by at least three members. It is shaped by the principles of self-help, self-management and self-responsibility.

Self-help means that individual legal and / or natural persons with similar economic, social or cultural interests come together with the help of a cooperative in order to bundle their strengths and jointly cope with tasks that the individual could not fulfill. Self-management and personal responsibility mean that every cooperative is autonomous, i.e. is managed by itself and is also responsible for its own actions.

The cooperative law prescribes how the organs of a cooperative are to be filled. External influence by strangers is excluded. Every cooperative must belong to an association that has been granted the right to audit. This checks both the founding project in the interests of the members and creditors as well as the economic development at regular intervals. He advises his member cooperatives comprehensively on business, legal and tax issues.

Cooperative companies, especially young companies, are actively supported by the regional cooperative associations and can use their services. The establishment of a cooperative requires a conception, a business plan and a legal framework (statute) as well as registration in the cooperative register.

You can find the relevant information here.