Introduction to Co-operative Law

Co-operatives provide a unique way of doing business. As service-providers, we need to be aware of the unique regulations and features that set co-ops apart from other business structures. This course is designed for lawyers seeking to better understand what co-operatives are, how they’re regulated, and what lawyers should be aware of when providing legal advice to co-ops.

In this course, we teamed up with Bill Oemichen and Elliot Bridgewater, two lawyers who have worked with co-ops across western Canada and the American midwest. Their expertise on co-operative law, along with resources from Co-operatives First, will give you a starting point in your work with co-operative businesses.

The total time commitment for the course is approximately two to three hours. You can save your progress as you work through the course and come back any time to finish things at your own pace. The course is divided into four modules:

  • What is a co-operative?
  • Creating a co-operative
  • Co-op membership and governance
  • Co-op finance

Complete this form to receive your personal invitation to access the course:

Already Signed Up? Login Here



“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block