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Principles Governing Co-ops

There are seven principles governing co-ops.

  • Voluntary and open membership

Co-ops are voluntary organisations, open to all persons who are able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Notwithstanding the above, the eligibility of an individual's admission into a co-op's membership is confined within the criteria as set out in the individual co-op's constitution and the laws of the jurisdiction.

  • Democratic member council

Co-ops are democratic organisations controlled by members, who actively participate in setting their own policies and decision making. This means members vote on policies passed and vote for elected representatives.

  • Members’ economic participation

All members contribute equitably to their co-op’s capital. Generally, part of the co-op’s capital is common member property. Usually members get limited compensation for the subscribed capital given as condition of their membership.

Surplus capital may be allocated for any, or all, of the following:

  • To develop the co-op
  • To set up or build reserves
  • To benefit members in their transactions with the co-ops
  • Supporting other activities approved by the members
  • Autonomy and independence

Members of Co-ops are responsible for their own governance, subject to the legislation and any orders by the Registry. If they make agreements with other organisations, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and their co-op autonomy.

  • Education, training and information

Co-ops provide education and training to their members, elected representatives, managers and employees so that they can contribute to the development of their co-ops.

  • Co-operation amongst co-operatives

Co-ops serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-op movement by working through local, national, regional and international structures.

  • Concern for community

While focusing on members’ needs, co-ops work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by the members.

Information on By-laws restructuring and dissolution of co-ops

  • If you are looking to amalgamate or transfer the assets and liabilities of your co-op, please contact the Registry and/or talk to your apex body.
    • The Registry's contact details:

Registry of Co-operative Societies
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
140 Hill Street, #02-00
Old Hill Street Police Station
Singapore 179369

Tel (hotline): 6837 8537

Fax: 6837 8090

Email: MCCY_regcoop@mccy.gov.sg

Operating hours: Monday - Friday: 8.30am to 5.30pm (closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)

The apex body - Singapore National Co-operative Federation

Information on claiming monies of dissolved co-ops

Members of dissolved co-ops who:

  • have not cashed in their cheques from the appointed liquidators; or
  • did not present their claims to the appointed liquidators

may still be able to make claims to the Registry of Co-operative Societies for up to 2 years from the date of cancellation of registration of their respective co-op. Monies unclaimed after 2 years from the date of cancellation of registration of a co-op shall be carried to the Co-op Societies Liquidation Account, which would be applied to the furtherance of co-op principles or transferred to the Central Co-op Fund.

Members should complete and mail this letter to the Registry of Co-operative Societies, together with a photocopy of their NRIC (both sides) to make their claims before the end of 2 years from the date of cancellation of registration of their respective co-op.

Last updated on 03 March 2019