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Glossary for the Canadian Cooperatives Act


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Co-operatives Policy
Co-operatives Policy, a branch of Industry Canada (formerly a branch of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada), provides analysis, advice and support to promote cooperative business innovation and growth in Canada.


Investment share
A share in the capital of a cooperative that is not a membership share. It can be issued to members or non-members and, except under specific circumstances, there are no voting rights attached to investment shares. Cooperatives can be incorporated with or without the power to issue investment shares.


Membership share
A cooperative may be incorporated with or without membership shares. If there are membership shares, they can only be issued to members of the cooperative. Subject to specific provisions for not-for-profit housing cooperatives and worker cooperatives, holders of membership shares have equal rights, including the right to receive any dividends declared on membership shares and, subject to the articles, to receive the remaining property of the cooperative on dissolution. The right to vote attaches to the member, not the membership share.


Non-profit housing cooperative
A cooperative where its articles restrict its business to that of primarily providing housing to its members.
Nuans Name Search Report
A document that includes a list of business names and trade-marks that sounds similar to the name being proposed. The list is drawn from Nuans, the national data bank of existing and reserved business names as well as trade-marks registered and applied for in Canada.


Residential address or other address for service
An address for service is an address where legal documents must be accepted by the director or someone on their behalf, and where an acknowledgement or delivery receipt can be provided, if required. An address for service can be the residential address of the director or a business address.


Special resolution
A special resolution is a resolution passed by at least two thirds, or any greater number set out in the articles or a unanimous agreement, of the votes cast at a meeting.


Worker cooperative
A cooperative whose primary objectives are to provide employment to its members and operate an enterprise in which control rests with the members. Only an individual who is an employee of the cooperative can be admitted to the membership of a worker cooperative.
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