Understanding how to register a Cooperative Society is a step in the right direction, especially when we consider that a lot of people have lost their life savings and cash by having business dealings with companies or organisations that are not recognized by law.
If you are currently doing this, it is at your own detriment because such a company cannot be sued or sue. This simply means that if such a company owes you, there’s absolutely nothing the law can do about it because it is not credible.
That’s why doing your due diligence as to the legality of existence of an organisation/society you will be involved with.
Therefore understanding how to register a cooperative society will help you to verify the authenticity of an organization.
I will like to advise all operators of unregistered companies/cooperative societies to contact appropriate bodies and get information on how to register a cooperative society and do registration of the entities they run.
The reason for this article is to help educate you on how to register a cooperative society as the modalities differ a little from the conventional companies.
We place a premium on credibility at Realty Point Limited. We are one of the leading real estate companies in Nigeria with a proven record of helping people buy land without the usual rigours and fraud associated with it in some other quarters.
Even the cooperative society, Prime Asset Housing Co-Operative Multi-Purpose Society Limited (www.primecooperative.org) project,
an initiative of Realty Point Limited is registered and recognized by law. Hence, for anyone who wishes to start a cooperative society, it is of utmost importance to have it registered.
According to Section 5 of the law, a cooperative society that is “Subject to provisions of this law, and has as its objects of promotion, the economic interests of its members in accordance with cooperative principles, or a society established for the purpose of facilitating the operations of such societies may be registered under this law with or without Limited Liability.”
For information on how to register a Cooperative Society, Section 6 of the law provides important points which must be fulfilled before a society can be registered. Some of them include:
- A primary cooperative society cannot be registered except it has at least ten (10) members who are at least 21 years old.
- A secondary or apex cooperative society cannot be registered unless it has at least two or more primary registered cooperative societies as its members
- The word “Cooperative” must be part of the name of the society to be registered
- · The word “Limited” shall be the last word in the name of every registered society with limited liability.
- Except in the case of a registered society whose principal object it is to grant loans to other registered societies which is referred to as “central financing society”, the word “bank” or “banking” shall not form part of any registered society
- No society shall be registered by a name which is identical or resembles a name by which anybody, association of persons or society is already registered
- No society shall be registered by any name which in the opinion of the Registrar may, or may be likely to mislead the public as to the identity of the society or the nature of its business.
- If a society through negligence or otherwise is registered by a name that is identical or that looks like that by which a society or any person is already registered, the society will change its name if the Registrar so directs.
The Section 7 segment of the law deals with how to register a Cooperative Society, the application for registration and the guidelines which include:
- Application must be signed by at least ten (10) members qualified for membership
- In case of a secondary or apex cooperative society, the application must be signed by duly authorized persons on behalf of every registered society member
- Copies of the proposed byelaws of the society must accompany the application and the persons by whom or on whose behalf the application is made will provide any information that pertains to the society as the Registrar may require.
When all these are done and the Registrar is satisfied that the society has complied with the provisions of this Decree and that its bye-laws are not contrary to the objectives of the society, he may register the society and its bye-laws. Then the society can begin its operations and it is safe to partner with such a cooperative because it is now recognised by the law.