This section aims to give you some additional hints and tips for things you need to consider after registering your co-operative. The list is by no means exhaustive but will hopefully help you along your way!
You’ve created your co-operative and are about to begin trading. Here are our top 10 tips on things a new co‑operative needs to know:
- Open a bank account (if you haven't set up a business bank account yet, you may want to look at the community accounts of our partner The Co-operative Bank. Their community accounts are designed specifically for co-operatives, social enterprises and charities).
- Know your registrar. Information for companies can be found at Companies House. Information for societies can be found at the Financial Conduct Authority.
- Directors and other officers, including the Secretary, of your co‑operative play a particular role in the governance of your co-operative and have particular responsibilities.
- Appoint an auditor or independent examiner if required in the governing document of your co‑operative. Know the requirements for your co‑operative company or society.
- Consider if you need to appoint additional directors to your co‑operative.
- Organise your co‑operative’s stationery and ensure that your corporate details are displayed correctly.
- Get to grips with your co‑operative’s governance administration. Ensure that you set up and maintain statutory registers for your co‑operative e.g. register of members, register of directors, share register etc.
- Consider insurance for your co‑operative. Get a great offer from Co-operative Insurance..
- Consider your co‑operative's web presence and domain names. Stand out from the crowd, get a .coop domain name for your co-operative.
- Map out your co‑operative and governance year e.g. know your financial year end, when to hold your AGM and file your annual return and accounts.
Other tips include
- Join Co-operatives UK to be part of a a unique network of co-operatives and receive specialist support relevant to your co-operative.
- Visit the growing your business section of The Hive once you're trading, to see how you can get help developing in areas from marketing your co-operative to growing your membership.
- Plunkett Foundation provide support and guidance to rural co-ops.
- Register with HMRC for Corporation Tax. If they suggest you register for PAYE explain that you have and will have no employees if that is the case.
- Consider what additional governance documents your co-operative may need eg. secondary rules and any policies eg. health and safety it may need to develop and consider who needs to develop these.