How patronage is really paid out to cooperative members: qualified and nonqualified written notice of allocations (1/2)

Recently, I had a few clients asking about the distinction between qualified and nonqualified written notice of allocation. Tax season being right around the corner, it feels like a good opportunity to talk about those. The USDA has some wonderful material[1] explaining the definition and use of both notices of allocation, this post and the …

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Thoughts from a new economies’ attorney: distinguishing cooperative governing structure

In my previous posts, I discuss how traditional businesses and cooperatives diverge from a capital (and return on capital) point-of-view. Another common misconception is that cooperatives function like nonprofits, typically from the perspective of governance structure. They don’t. Cooperatives are businesses, and, as such, business principles and governance, and business governing structure apply to them. …

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Thoughts from a new economies’ attorney: patterns that create different kinds of (business) ownership – traditional capital investment

If you are reading this post, chances are you are an innovator, you are looking for guidance on alternative business forms, you run or are part of a mission-driven organization, you are considering adopting democratic governance models in your business or nonprofit, or some combination of those. I have to alert you that this is …

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Mandatory Business Owner Reporting

The federal government has passed some new legislation that will require small businesses to report personal information about the business’s owners to a database controlled by the Securities Exchange Commission.  The legislation is called the Corporate Transparency Act (the “Act”), adopted as Title LXIV (64) of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.  The purpose of …

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Updates to PPP under the Economic Aid Act

The Economic Aid Act, passed on December 27th, 2020, expanded the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act. The Economic Aid Act authorized $284 billion in new funds for first draw and second draw funds of PPP. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury have issued new guidance on how the changes will …

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Voting Structures for Businesses

All corporations and cooperatives have some sort of democratic model for decision making. There are two major voting structures for all businesses. The first: “one share, one vote;” means that an investor gets one vote for each share of a company they own. The second: “one member, one vote;” means that each cooperative member or …

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