WV Co-op Collaborative
So What’s So Great About a Co-op?
- Co-ops provided high-quality service because they are typically owned and controlled by their members- the same people who use those services
- Co-ops help to spur activity and value in local economies because they are controlled by the members who use their services, rather than by outside investors
- Co-ops incentivize business expansion by distributing profits to members based on their use of the co-op’s services rather than based on the amount that they’ve invested-so, the more that members use the co-op’s services, the more profit they receive
- Co-ops have a unique philosophy
- Co-ops have a unique legal and tax status
- Co-ops can be uniquely identified
Resources To Get Started
*The resources are also available in our Free Library.
In 2015, the West Virginia Legislature expanded the state’s producer cooperative statute to include all food and farm related businesses, not just producers, to form as cooperative businesses. SB352 expands the agriculture code that pertains to producer cooperatives to include all businesses that relate to foods and beverages, arts and crafts, woodworking and recycling, composting and repurposing of materials. This law became effective June 11, 2015.
Why Incorporate as a Cooperative?
The Small Business Association notes these advantages and challenges of co-ops:
Advantages of a Cooperative
- Less Taxation.
- Funding Opportunities.
- Reduce Costs and Improve Products and Services.
- Perpetual Existence.
- Democratic Organization.
Challenges of a Cooperative
- Limitations on Returns on Capital Investment
- Lack of Membership and Participation.
- WVHUB: The Story Behind WV Food & Farm Victories