Setting Up a Co-operative Business

Starting up a co-operative society is similar to creating any other business. The difference lies only in the number of people involved and in the democratic structure of the co-operative model.

The start-up process of a co-operative in Malta currently requires the involvement of a minimum of 5 members (persons or entities). The Federation is your first port of call at this stage – you will find lots of help from the Federation and its Member Societies when starting up your co-operative.

From the moment you register your interest with the Federation, we can help connect you to the right people, organisations and co-operative societies that will provide you with all the essential support and advice you require at this crucial initial stage and beyond.

What do you need in order to set up a co-operative society?

You will need:

  • a statute
  • a business plan
  • a duly-filled in application for registration form, and
  • adequate knowledge about the co-operative business model

All new co-operatives will need a statute, which is approved by the founding members and which may be amended as the need arises by the co-operative members at a General Meeting. This document lays down the rules governing the operations of the co-operative society: what the co-operative is going to do, who is going to do it, and how.

The statute must include:

  1. name of co-operative;
  2. registered address;
  3. principle aims and objectives;
  4. regulations regarding member eligibility and their acceptance;
  5. grounds of termination of membership
  6. member rights and obligations;
  7. regulations governing members’ General Meetings;
  8. regulations governing the number and election process of the Committee of Management;
  9. roles and duties of the Committee of Management;
  10. regulations governing the appointment of a minimum of three members to the Executive Committee (President/Vice President/Secretary/Treasurer);
  11. capital structure and surplus distribution.

You can download a sample statute here. This is also available in Maltese.

Before proceeding to apply for registration, you also need to produce a business plan for your organisation. Again, if you have problems or need assistance, the Malta Co-operative Federation can help you out.

The co-operative’s business plan needs to detail your business goals and objectives, why you believe they are realistic and how you plan to achieve those goals.

It is important that your new co-operative starts operations in the right way. Unfortunately, some start-ups tend to ignore the administrative side to their peril. We know. Sometimes its hard to set up administration as it may be expensive in the beginning. However, we could provide you with services and advice on how you can maximise your limited budgets and make use of start-up grants already available. Contact us now!

An application for registration form is to be sent to the Co-operatives Board to initiate the application process.

Download the latest application form now

Prospective co-operative members must have adequate knowledge about what it means to work within a co-operative.  This is an essential requirement as the Co-operatives Board will invite the founder members to a preliminary interview to determine whether the prospective members are aware of their co-operative obligations and of the co-operative principles before a decision is taken to register your co-operative.  Prospective members will also be required to explain their business proposal.

The Malta Co-operative Federation will provide you with the professional assistance you need to prepare for the setting up of a new co-operative society, including help with fund management and applying for start-up grants available. We have people long experienced in all areas of co-operative matters who will guide you through the start-up process and help you out at each stage.