Guideline for Cooperative Bylaws
Bylaws are like the “owners manual” for a cooperative business. Bylaws will differ by type of co-op (worker, producer, consumer, etc.), by industry, and by state. Familiarize yourself with your state statutes. Use the process of developing bylaws as an opportunity for a group to define the details of who they are and what they aspire to become.
While almost any activity can be covered by a bylaw, only broad issues of long term significance to the membership should be covered. Bylaws are generally not filed with the state. However the membership and the board agree to abide by the guidelines of the bylaws for operating their business. Bylaws can be changed over time, but doing so requires a majority vote of the membership.