A cooperative society is a voluntary association that started with the aim of the service of its members. It is a form of business where individuals belonging to the same class join their hands for the promotion of their common goals. These are generally formed by poor people or weaker sections of people in society. How to Register a Co-operative Society in Kenya
How to Register a Co-operative Society in Kenya
Step 1 : Organize yourselves as a group with a an intent of forming a cooperative
Qualification for membership to a cooperative society are as follows;
a) One must have attained the age of eighteen years;
b) The members employment, occupation or profession falls within the category or description of those for which the co-operative society is formed;
c) The member must be a resident within, or occupies land within, the society’s area of operation as described in the relevant by-law.
Essentials for registration of a co-operative society are as follows:-
a) In the case of registration of a primary society, it should consist of at least ten persons all of whom shall be qualified for membership of the co-operative society.
b) In the case of a co-operative union, it must have at least two registered societies as its members.
Step 2 : Write letter of intent
Thereafter, you should write a letter to the Province Cooperative Officer (PCO) through the District Cooperative Officer (DCO) requesting to be registered as a pre-cooperative society indicating their intention to do so.
The letter should state who the cooperative is made of and what they plan to accomplish.
The following information should also be sent to the cooperative office
(i) The organization’s contact people (2)
(ii) A list of members – not less than 15 with their ID numbers and signatures
(iii) The amount that is to be contributed monthly
The DCO will meet the group and verify whether the group is viable to register or not.
Step 3 : Meeting with cooperatives officer
After receiving the letter of intent, the District Cooperative Officer (DCO) will meet the group to verify whether the group is viable to register or not.
If the DCO finds the group viable for registration, he will give the group an approval for registration.
Step 4 : Hold meeting to form a formation board and elect a chairman and secretary
The three most important slots to be filled are the Chairman and Secretary
It’s important to have these positions occupied for accountability and organisation purposes of the group.
Step 5 : Drafting of the cooperative’s constitution, objects and by-laws by the Formation Board.
After election, the Formation Board the board should decide on the type of society to be formed, prepare by-laws for the society and assess founder members level of business.
A constitution is the cooperative’s guide which should be drafted. Once this has been drafted and approved, every member should get a copy which they sign and commit to the terms and conditions. The constitution identifies the cooperative’s mission, goals, and objectives.
The formation board should look in to the future and estimate number of future members and levels of business to be done by the society in future;
A feasibility study of the cooperative should be carried out and feasibility report prepared.
Record and details of founder members, their share capital and contributions should be taken. Also record details of prospective members, their probable share capital and contributions should be taken
At commencement, the formation board should begin to keep accounts to allow periodic assessment of the group’s activities; and
Must appoint a delegate in charge of representing the group in all civil matters
Step 6 : Make application of registration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
Visit the Provincials/District cooperatives offices to make the application for registration.
The application may be handled by the District Cooperative Officer at District level or the Assistant Registrar at Regional level.
The application for registration forms are provided at these offices
The following document should be attached and submitted together with the registration application.
(i) Name of the Proposed Society
(ii) Proposed by-laws of the society
(iii) A Draft Constitution
(iv) Names of a minimum of Ten Proposed Members (Including Copies of Their ID Cards. KRA Pins. Passport Sized Photos. Telephone Numbers. Physical Address. Occupation and Age)
(v) Names of A Minimum Of Three Officials – Treasurer, Secretary General and Chairperson
(vi) The Postal and Physical Address (Plot Number Nearest Road/Street And Location) Of The Society
(vii) Minutes of the meeting seeking registration and showing elected officials
(viii) Copies of National Identity Cards of all group members
(iv) Application fee proof of payment receipt
A processing fee of Khs 500 is charged for the registration
Step 7 : Obtain letter of recognition as a pre-cooperative society
After assessment and satisfaction of the application, the registrar will issue a letter of recognition which will allow the group to operate as a pre-cooperative society for three (3) years.
During the given three (3) years members of the formed pre-cooperative society must be working hard to fulfil the conditions required to become a full cooperative society.
Step 8 : Obtaining Registration Certificate and a Certified Copy of by- laws
When all requirements are fulfilled at the end of the three years, the society shall then be registered as a full cooperative society however, if at the end of the three (3) years the pre-cooperative society has not fulfilled the conditions, the letter of recognition will be cancelled.
Upon full registration, the registration then issues a Registration Certificate and a Certified Copy of by- laws.
Name of the Proposed Society
Proposed by-laws of the society
A Draft Constitution
Names of a minimum of Ten Proposed Members (Including Copies of Their ID Cards. KRA Pins. Passport Sized Photos. Telephone Numbers. Physical Address. Occupation and Age)
Names of A Minimum Of Three Officials – Treasurer, Secretary General and Chairperson
The Postal and Physical Address (Plot Number Nearest Road/Street And Location) Of The Society
Minutes of the meeting seeking registration and showing elected officials
Copies of National Identity Cards of all group members
Office Locations & Contacts
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
State Department of Co-operatives
Social Security House, Block A, 17th, 23rd Floor
P.O. Box 30418-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +254 20-2731531
Fax: +254 20-2731511
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Website:Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
Qualification for membership to a cooperative society
A person shall not be qualified for membership of a co-operative society unless
a) he has attained the age of eighteen years;
b) his employment, occupation or profession falls within the category or description of those for which the co-operative society is formed;
c) he is resident within, or occupies land within, the society’s area of operation as described in the relevant by-law.
Essentials for registration of a co-operative society
For a society to be registered under this Act, it must—
(a) In the case of a primary society, consist of at least ten persons all of whom shall be qualified for membership of the co-operative society;
(b) In the case of a co-operative union has at least two registered societies as its members;
A fee of Ksh 500 is charged to register a cooperative society.
The letter of recognition as a pre-cooperative society is valid for three (3) years
The Certificate of registration no validity period but can be cancelled if the society acts contrary to the cooperative society act.
The processing time is ninety (90) days.
Organize yourselves as a group with an intent of forming a cooperative society.
Write letter to the District Cooperative Officer stating your intent of forming a cooperative society in the district
Schedule meeting with the cooperatives officer to determine the viability of forming the cooperative
Hold meeting to form a formation board and elect a chairman and secretary
Draft the cooperative’s constitution, objects and by-laws by the Formation Board.
Visit the Cooperative Offices in your district to make application of registration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives
Pay A processing fee of Khs 500 for the registration
Obtain letter of recognition as a pre-cooperative society from the district cooperative officer which is valid for three years
Obtaining Registration Certificate and a Certified Copy of by- laws after three years of pre-cooperative operations.
Proposed name of society
Area the society will operate
Objective of the society
Purposes to which funds may be applied, may be held, disposed of or invested.
Membership rules like terms of admission, shares and entrance fees
By-laws of the society
Rules regarding what payment to be made in cases of anything, for instance if a member is expelled or leaves;
Need for the Document
A cooperative society needs to be registered for it to carry out its objectives in Kenya. After registration, the NGO is given an operating permit, which allows them to operate in Kenya
Information which might help
Numbers of members at registration is dependent on sector:
a) 50 members for agricultural society.
b) 20 for Savings and Credit Cooperative Society
c) 10 members for other types of Cooperatives.
d) Members are required to be above 15 year of age; while board members must be 18 years of age and above.
If you intend on taking deposits from your members/customers, you will be required to obtain a license from Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA). SASRA is mandated by section 24 of the Saccos Societies Act 2008 to license and regulate the operation of Deposit Taking Saccos. Approval of your license to operate from SASRA can take 4 months and above.
Rights of members. A member of a co-operative society shall have the right to—
a) attend and participate in decisions taken at all general meetings of the society and vote;
b) be elected to organs of the society, subject to its by-laws;
c) enjoy the use of all the facilities and services of the society subject to the society’s by-laws;
d) all legitimate information relating to the society, including: internal regulations, registers, Minutes of general meetings, supervisory committees, reports, annual accounts and inventories, investigation reports, at the society’s head office.
Other uses of the Document/Certificate
The certificate of Registration will enable the cooperative to open a bank account, other business permits, NHIF and NSSF, tax arrangements.
According to the cooperative society act Subject to the provisions of this Act, a society which has as its objects of
(a) the promotion of the welfare and economic interests of its members;
(b) has incorporated in its by-laws the following co-operative principles
(i) voluntary and open membership;
(ii) democratic member control;
(iii) economic participation by members;
(iv) autonomy and independence;
(v) education, training and information;
(vi) co-operation among co-operatives;
(vii) concern for community in general,
May be registered by the Commissioner as a co-operative society under the cooperative Act with or without limited liability. Provided that a co-operative union or an apex society shall not be registered except with limited liability.
No member, other than a co-operative society, shall hold more than one-fifth of the issued and paid-up share capital of any co-operative society.
No person shall be a member of more than one co-operative society with unlimited liability and, no person shall be a member of more than one co-operative society having the same or similar object
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