Start-ups and Conversions

Co-op Conversion

Thinking of starting a cooperative or converting a current business to a cooperative? Beginning any business is a process, and a cooperative is no exception.


Typically, converting an existing business to a cooperative relates to conversion of the business to a worker cooperative. The Federation of Worker Cooperatives provides information on converting to employee ownership.


The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives (UWCC) and USDA offer a number of resources for those wanting to start a cooperative.

How to Start a Cooperative This comprehensive web page include steps for start-ups; resources such as general and sector-specific information and templates on incorporation, bylaws, financing, feasibility studies, business plans, and working with groups; and factors for success.

Cooperative Equity and Ownership: An Introduction This 49-page manual provides an introduction to capitalization structures for member-owned cooperatives and some of their practical applications.

Cooperatives in Wisconsin: The Power of Cooperative Action This publication provides an overview and history of cooperatives in Wisconsin as well as steps and resources to start and operate a co-op within the state. Contact your county Extension office or UWCC for print copies.

Sample Templates

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