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Starting a Cooperative

Basic Steps

  1. Core group meets to clarify need and the potential use of a cooperative as a solution.
  2. Hold meeting of potential members to discuss forming a cooperative.
  3. Select steering committee.
  4. Conduct economic feasibility analysis.
    1. Survey potential feasibility analysis.
    2. Conduct market research and analysis.
    3. Prepare financial projections.
  5. Hold meeting of potential members to report findings.
  6. Prepare business plan. Share results with potential members.
  7. Draft legal papers. File upon approval of potential members.
  8. Hold the cooperative's first annual meeting.
    1. Adopt by-laws.
    2. Elect board members.
  9. Implement the business plan.
    1. Complete membership signups.
    2. Secure capital and finalize other agreements.
    3. Hire manager.
    4. Acquire facilities.
  10. Start operations.

See also:USDA Rural Development Service Report 58, Cooperative Development Feasiblity Study Guide





CoBank provides financial solutions and leasing services to agricultural cooperatives, rural energy and communications systems, Farm Credit associations and other businesses serving rural America. The bank also finances agricultural exports and provides international banking services. The bank provides leasing services through its subsidiary, Farm Credit Leasing Services Corp.

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