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Reflections on Co-op Cincy and Cooperative Professionals Guild Conferences in 2023

I recently attended two cooperative-related professional events in 2023: the Co-op Cincy Union Co-op Symposium and the Cooperative Professionals Guild Conference. As someone relatively new to practicing law in the cooperative movement space, I wanted to share my reflections and thoughts following these very inspiring experiences. By starting as an associate attorney with JWPC in …

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Patrons, Patronizing, Patronage Dividend

These are all terms used in the cooperative business community and sometimes their meanings are unclear or jumbled.  This blog will discuss the definitions of these terms with examples of how they are used by different types of cooperatives. A patron patronizes a cooperative and receives a patronage dividend at the end of the year.  …

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

Patronage dividends represent a unique opportunity for cooperatives to avoid taxation on some of the cooperative’s earnings.[1] Early this month I highlighted the concept of patronage dividends. Generally, when members receive taxable distributions of earnings from a cooperative, such as patronage dividends, they are included in the patrons’ gross income along with other income the …

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Use of the term “Cooperative”

Edited June 26th, 2020: An earlier version of this blog post implied that only organizations incorporated as cooperatives under Massachusetts law may use the word “cooperative.” This post has been edited to accurately reflect that other businesses may use the term if they distribute earnings consistent with cooperative law. Entity formation is often the first …

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