A cooperative association, also known as a co-op, is a type of business that can be formed in Minnesota under the Cooperative Associations Act found in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 308B. A co-op is essentially business that produces or distributes goods or services, owned and operated by its owners, for their mutual benefit.
Compared to other business types (e.g. corporation, partnership, and LLC), co-ops are relatively rare in Minnesota. Examples of co-ops range from a food co-op where families buy food together in bulk, farm co-ops, and credit unions.
Most new business owners who seek a co-op can accomplish their purposes through other business types. One frequent choice is an LLC, which allows broad flexibility in designing the entity for the needs of the co-op owners.