COOPERATIVE SOCIETY REGISTRATION IN LAGOS
A cooperative society is a voluntary association of individuals, united by the common bond, who have come together to pursue their economic goals for their own benefits. It is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social & cultural needs and aspiration through a jointly owned organization. Cooperative societies are governed by the Nigerian cooperative societies Act that provides for the registration of cooperative societies. The registration of corporative societies in Nigeria is effected at the designated cooperative society ministry in various states.
TYPES OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETY IN NIGERIA:
There are three major types of cooperative society in Nigeria
- Agricultural cooperative society (also known as farmers’ cooperative)
- Saving and credit cooperative society (also known as microfinance cooperative)
- Multi-purpose cooperative society (General cooperative)
CONDITIONS FOR FORMATION OF A COOPERATIVE SOCIETY:
- A saving credit cooperation society must have at least twenty (20) members.
- An agricultural cooperative society must have nothing less than fifty (50) members.
- Other types of cooperative societies must be composed of a minimum of ten (10) members.
It should also be noted that for a group to be registered as a cooperative society, members must satisfy the following:
- A member must be at least fifteen (15) years of age and above
- The board members should be at least eighteen years
- Every member must have a common need with other members of society.
- Every member must be in an occupation relevant to the primary society
- A member must be capable of paying fees and buying shares.
PROCEDURE FOR REGISTERING A COOPERATIVE SOCIETY IN LAGOS:
- An application for registration shall be made to the Director of Cooperatives at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives requesting to be registered as a cooperative society.
- The officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative shall carry out an inspection of the cooperative society’s premises.
- The applicant shall pay the prescribed fees.
- The minimum required members, depending on the category of the cooperative society must duly sign the application.
- A form is issued to the members to fill in their details and return while a name search is made to ascertain the availability.
- Upon availability, a stamp bearing the cooperatives name and logo with the other documents shall be submitted for verification and approval.
- After verification, if the Director of Cooperatives is satisfied, a letter of recognition is issued. This letter gives the cooperative approval to operate as a cooperative society for three years.
- A certificate of Registration with the certified copy of the by-laws governing the cooperative will be issued after three years.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION OF COOPERATIVE SOCIETY:
- Proposed name of the cooperative society.
- Proposed address of the cooperative society.
- The objective of the cooperative society.
- Membership rules.
- Four copies of the proposed by-laws of the cooperative society.
- Letter of consent from all members of the cooperative society.
- Feasibility study on how the cooperative society intends to operate.
- Certified copy of the resolution passed at the first meeting of members with the cooperative officer.
- Official stamp duty of the cooperative society.
In conclusion, the cooperative society is one that is regulated by laws of various states. The process of registering a cooperative society differs from state to state, and this should be considered when registering a cooperative society in Nigeria.
By Corporate & Commercial Law Team, Resolution Law Firm