Abstract and Keywords
Co-operative identity is complex and consists of several, at times interrelated, aspects, which distinguish it from non-profit associations and from for-profit companies. Co-operatives are characterized by a specific purpose, and when a legal entity has a defining feature that relates to the objective pursued, the organizational law of that entity has to define its particular identity in light of that objective. Given this assumption, this chapter states the importance of co-operative law in stipulating the co-operative identity and preserving its distinguishing features. It therefore outlines the essential elements which characterize co-operative enterprises: the mutual purpose, co-operative transactions, co-operative activities with non-members, and the social function of co-operatives.
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