The Structure of Cooperatives
Cooperatives exist in nearly every business sector and are organized in a variety of ways. Like other businesses in our economy, they range in size from organizations with only a few member-owners to massive and complex organizations with thousands. of member-owners. The way a cooperative is organized determines how it is operated, managed, and controlled by its members, and the types of benefits offered.
Cooperative structure can be classified into five types as follows: geographic, governance, functions, financial, and other arrangements. Each will be defined and discussed in this circular.