Cooperative Societies: Meaning, Definition, Characteristics, Objectives

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Cooperative Societies

We learnt about sole proprietorship, partnership as different forms of business organization. There are other organizations which undertake business activities. Their prime objective is to earn profit & to provide services. Some amount of profit is essential to survive in the market, their main intention is not to generate profit and grow.

Meaning of Co-Operative Society

The term co-operation is derived from the Latin word co-operari, where the word ‘co’ means ‘with’ and ‘operari’ means ‘to work’. Thus, co-operation means working together.


“Cooperation is a form of organization wherein persons voluntarily associate together as human beings, on a basis of equality, for the promotion of economic interests of themselves”.

Characteristics of Co-Operative Societies

Characteristics of co-operative societies

Characteristics of Co-Operative Societies

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Voluntary Associates

Cooperative Society is a voluntary association of persons. A member can join the society as and when he opts continue for as long as per his preference.

Open Membership

The membership of a Co-operative Society is allowed to all those who have a common interest. Membership is open on the basis of caste, color or sex, religion.

Separate Legal Entity

A cooperative society, has a separate legal existence. A cooperative undertaking registration under the Cooperative Societies Act, 1912, or under the relevant Cooperative Societies Act of the State Government.

Source of Finance

Capital of a cooperative society is generating from its members in the form of share capital. With the use of co- operative society’s member can easily raise loans and secure grants from government after its registration.

Service Motive

Aim of a cooperative society is service to its members, though it may also in the process happen to earn self-generated profit.


  • Explain the meaning of Co-operative Societies;

  • State the characteristics of Co-operative Societies;

  • Identify different types of Co-operative Societies;

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Co-operative Societies;

  • Define Joint Stock Company;

  • Explain the salient features of Joint Stock Companies;

  • Identify the different types of Joint Stock Companies;

  • Discuss the Advantages and Limitations of Joint Stock Companies;

  • Suggest the suitability of Joint Stock Company as a form of Business organization;

  • Meaning of Multinational Company

Voting Power

Irrespective of the number of shares held by member each member has only one vote.