You are here
Who can help you start a co-operative?
Co-operatives UK’s in house specialist Legal Team provides support and advice to co-operatives. Whether you are at the start of your journey towards becoming a co-operative or you are an established co-operative looking to grow or change the direction of their business we are here to help you. The Legal Team offers the following services:
- Help to understand the co-operative model and consider whether it’s the right business model for you
- Assistance to decide what the best legal structure is for your co-operative
- Affordable registration services to get you legal
As well as our in house specialist legal team, Co-operatives UK is at the heart of a national network of co-operative advisors who can help you start and grow your co-operative business.
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub has been set up by The Co-operative Group as a one-stop shop for free advice, training and access to finance for new and existing co-operatives. Services are delivered, free of charge, throughout the UK by experienced co-operative development advisers.
Typically, the Hub offers support to co-operatives that are:
- Preparing to start trading
- In their first year of trading
- Experiencing rapid growth
- Planning to move premises
- Developing a new product, service or market
- Wanting to change their management structure
You must be based in the UK, incorporated (or soon to be incorporated) and a co-operative (or soon to be a co-operative) to be eligible for support.
Your local Co-operative Development Body (CDBs) can also help. CDBs are based all over the UK and provide specialist advice for new start and growing co-operatives, including through the Co-operative Enterprise Hub. Find an advisor near you.
Sector specialist advisors.
For advice on…
- Agriculture, contact the Food and Farming Foundation (through EFFP) or if in Scotland the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society.
- Community owned shops and pubs contact the Plunkett Foundation.
- Credit unions, contact the Association of British Credit Unions and UK Credit Unions.
- Education and schools, The Co-operative College.
- Local food, including food co-ops, CSAs, farmers’ markets, country markets and other community owned food enterprises visit the Making Local Food Work website.
- Football, rugby and supporter ownership in sport, Supporters Direct.
- Housing, the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, the National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations Ltd and Radical Routes.
- Renewable energy, Energy4All, CoRE, h2ope and Sharenergy.
- Employee / management buyouts, CD:S, CDA (Brave) Ltd and Co-ownership Solutions LLP
It is important that you have developed your business idea or received some business development advice before you register the legal form of your co-operative.