Co-operative Societies

A Co-operative Society is an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to achieve common economic, social and/or cultural objectives through the formation of a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Co-operative Societies operate with principles and values such as self-help and mutual assistance to provide services for their members in a prudent and effective manner. Members make contributions to the capital through the purchase of shares and contribute to income by utilising the services available. Every Co-operative Society must be registered under the Co-operative Societies’ Act, Chapter 81:03 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago. Each member is treated in an equitable manner and receives a share of surpluses realised.

More information on Co-operative Societies can be found on the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development’s website by following the link in the Quick Links below.

What types of Co-operatives exist in Trinidad and Tobago?

There are several types of Co-operative Societies, including:

  1. Credit Unions.
  2. Agricultural Co-operatives.
  3. Consumer Co-operatives.
  4. Junior Co-operatives.
  5. Other Co-operatives (e.g., Workers, Service, Housing, Investment, Marketing and Funeral).

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How do I become a member of a Co-operative?

To become a member of a Co-operative Society, you must:

  • Satisfy the requirements of residence, employment, profession or other criteria as prescribed by the by-laws of the Co-operative Society.

Please note that the requirements for becoming a member of a Co-operative Society differ depending on the individual Co-operative Society. Each Co-operative sets its own criteria for membership and is outlined in the by- laws of the Co-operative Society.

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How do I register a Co-operative society?

There is a process that takes place before, and after registration. This includes the following:

  • Preliminary work;
  • Educational program;
  • Period of organisation, and
  • Setting up the business.

Application for registration is the responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the particular Co-operative Society (In Formation).  This Committee must send documents to the Commissioner for Co-operative Development. These include the following:

  • Completed application form signed by at least twelve (12) members together with an application fee of ten dollars ($10.00);
  • Three copies of the proposed by-laws of the Co-operative (In Formation) and the business plan;
  • Police Certificates of Character for the members of the Organising Committee.

Note that a technical officer from the Co-operative Development Division is assigned to guide the organising and registration process.

Application forms can be accessed from the Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development’s website or the Co-operative Development Division’s offices listed below.  The Co-operative Development Division’s offices are open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, except public holidays.

Head Office,
Anva Plaza, 
16-20 Eastern Main Road,
 Trinidad, West Indies
 Tel. (868) 662 1086/663-6848/645-9458
St. Andrew/St. David
 Lot 358
 Brierley Street
 Sangre Grande
 Trinidad, West Indies
 Tel/Fax. (868) 668-2643
St. Patrick
 Siparia Administration Complex
 Corner Allies Street and SS Erin Road
 Trinidad, West Indies
 Tel/Fax. (868) 649-2481
Victoria and Nariva/ Mayaro Offices
 40-42 St. James Street
 San Fernando
 Trinidad, West Indies
 Tel/Fax. (868) 652-3738
 Corner Lange and John Streets
 Trinidad, West Indies
 Tel. (868) 671-1917 
6-10 Post Office Street, 
 Tel. (868) 639-4412 Ext. 3300-3306

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What fees do I need to pay?

There is a registration fee of TT$10.00 that must be paid upon application. This does not apply to the registration of Junior Co-operative Societies.

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How long does it take to register a co-operative society?

Organisation and registration of a Co-operative Society can be completed within three months, depending on the commitment of participants.

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Where can I find more information?

For more information, please visit the Co-operative Development Division’s website at the link below or contact:

 The Co-operative Development Division
 Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development
 At the address/es listed above


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