Build the Bylaws

Bylaws are self-imposed policies within the cooperative business.

They include the foundation of plans for the co-op and a statement of purpose. Topics bylaws may address include: board of directors, membership,  patronage operations, and special concerns unique to the cooperative. State statutes governing cooperatives contain details about what must be contained in a cooperative’s bylaws. In Ohio, co-op members must adopt by-laws within 30 days after incorporation by a majority vote.

Review this presentation to learn more about cooperative bylaws and their importance.

To further develop your understanding of cooperative bylaws or begin developing bylaws for your cooperative enterprise, use the Building the Bylaws exercise from the CFAES Center for Cooperatives.

Groups interested in worker-ownership can explore the publication, “Sample Bylaws For A Worker Cooperative,” prepared by the Green Collar Communities Clinic (GC3) of the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) and by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) based on Bylaws created by Tim Huet of Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives and adapted by Jenny Kassan of K2 Law Group.