Attorney Lisa Nelson explains 5 different types of business cooperative models

Five Types of Cooperative Business Models

Business owners and organizations forming in Ohio — or those interested in converting to a cooperative business model — can choose from five different cooperative business models.  This is a quick overview of each type.  Click on each type to learn more specifics and see examples.

Five Different Types of Cooperative Business Models:

  • Consumer Coop: owned by consumers who buy goods or services from their cooperative. 
  • Producer Coop: owned by producers of commodities or crafts who have joined forces to process and market their products
  • Worker-Owned Coop: owned and democratically governed by employees who become co-op members
  • Purchasing Coop: owned by independent businesses or municipalities to improve their purchasing power
  • Multi-stakeholder (or Hybrid) Coop: owned by multiple groups (i.e., having different membership classes) which could include employees, producers, customers and clients, volunteers, and community members (including investors).   

You may also come across the term “social co-ops”.  The type of cooperative model can vary, but typically the term “social coop” refers to businesses that are united by value-based operations to deliver needed services in their communities and keep their businesses controlled by their people (i.e., members).