- Cooperative Associations
- Agricultural Associations
- Cooperative Agricultural Marketing
- Rural Cooperative Utilities
A cooperative is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit. Cooperatives can be formed for a variety of purposes.
Montana law authorizes several types of cooperatives, which may operate for profit or not for profit as follows:
Cooperative Associations - Associations formed under Title 35, chapter 15, MCA, have all powers necessary to carry into effect the objects for which the associations may be formed, including those powers usually exercised by cooperative associations, subject to all duties, restrictions, and liabilities set forth in the general laws relating to similar corporations that are not limited or enlarged by this chapter. Annual stockholders meetings shall be held at a time fixed in the bylaws. If there are no bylaws, the meeting shall be held within 6 months after the close of the fiscal year.
Agricultural Associations – Under Title 35, chapter 16, MCA, any 10 or more holders of title or evidence of title to agricultural, horticultural, or farm lands in this state of an aggregate value of not less than $75,000 who may desire to form a company or district for the purpose of promoting or improving the production, processing, storing, warehousing, or marketing of any or all agricultural, horticultural, or farm or dairying products of the respective petitioners therefor may incorporate themselves into an agricultural corporation or cooperative agricultural district.
Cooperative Agricultural Marketing - Cooperatives formed under Title 35, chapter 17, MCA, are for the purpose of promoting, fostering, and encouraging the intelligent and orderly marketing of agricultural products through cooperation and to eliminate speculation and waste and to make the distribution of agricultural products as direct as can efficiently be done between producer and consumer, to stabilize the marketing problems of agricultural products, and to supply to its members necessary equipment. This type of cooperative is considered nonprofit because their purpose is not to make profits for themselves or their members, but only for their members as producers. Cooperative agricultural associations must provide for one or more regular meetings annually.
Rural Cooperative Utilities - Cooperatives formed under Title 35, chapter 18, MCA, are nonprofit membership corporations organized for the purpose of supplying electrical energy and promoting and extending the use of electrical energy in rural areas; making generally available adequate telephone service, cable television service, or broadband facilities through the improvement and expansion of existing telephone, cable television, or broadband facilities and the construction and operation of additional facilities as are required to ensure the availability of service to the widest practicable number of users of telephone service, cable television service, or broadband facilities; and for purposes allowable under federal authorization, including rural economic development activities. Annual meetings of the members are held at a time provided in the bylaws.