Find our worker centered cooperative projects and resources for starting, supporting, or cultivating worker cooperatives below.
RESOURCES FOR WORKER COOPERATIVES
Co-opLaw.org is our attempt to create a comprehensive worker-owner legal resource library with plain-language legal resources, educational tools, and legal documents, providing guidance to worker owners in every US state. We believe that having these resources freely available will dramatically reduce the cost of legal services for cooperative entrepreneurs, community economic development specialists, and technical assistance providers supporting the growth of worker cooperatives across the country.
Our resources are primarily meant for cooperative entrepreneurs, existing business owners looking to convert their business to a worker cooperative, cooperative developers, and legal professionals (but we ain’t gunna lie. There’s a lot of stuff on here for coop activists, policy makers, accountants, the coop-curious out there, and supporters of transitioning to a solidarity economy).
For Coop Incubators: Here, you can find our Facilitator's Guide so that you can host your own Think Outside the Boss workshop called "Learning to Think Outside the Boss!" It includes a facilitator guide, skit, and a slide deck we've created to explain how the law works in, against, and for worker cooperatives.
Have a legal question but not quite ready to speak with a lawyer and read a full legal guide? Our Bite-Sized Legal Guides are a great place to start!
These 1-2 pagers cover topics such as "How to Form a Cooperative Corporation," "How to Make Decisions in a Cooperative," and even "How to Deal with Employment Laws in a Worker Cooperative."
We envision living in a society where reliable and affordable legal support is available to all those creating the transition to resilient local economies. At our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, we provide one-time legal advice and information.
This is a space to come and discuss your cooperative enterprise at any stage of its development, from idea to conversion to operation.
We host teach-ins to educate the public about cooperatives and advise existing coops on their development and operations. Check out our video recordings of recent teach-ins such as CA Entity Formation Options for Worker Cooperatives and Worker Co-op Conversions During COVID19 for Small Business Owners.
Please check our calendar page for future teach-ins and workshops.
Find resources for worker self-directed nonprofits, that is nonprofit organizations seeking to provide all workers with the power to influence programming, change the conditions of their workplace, have voice in the direction of their own career paths, and provide guidance to the organization as a whole.
Repaired Nations focuses on building wealth in Black communities by giving youth the tools needed to remain rooted: access to land and access to capital. Book clubs, workshops, and trainings will educate and inspire communities to engage in cooperative effort, while giving grounded, practical skills for collective ownership. We repair the effects of colonization and oppression by helping to weave interconnected communities into thriving, sustainable networks to equitably provide the essentials of life. Our immediate goal is to educate youth of color in California about cooperative enterprise and develop necessary infrastructure for cooperative development in under-resourced, disadvantages communities.
Find more information about our work in partnership with Prospera, the Democracy at Work Institute, and others, to fill the gap in legal and cooperative resources to support immigrant leaders building economic resilience and job stability for their communities.
Anchoring Communities uses one unique strategy to target the Bay Area’s racialized problem of high rent and low wages. It helps workers and tenants come together to take control of their workplaces and apartment buildings. This helps workers create worker cooperatives, and it helps tenants create housing cooperatives. Existing movements to help workers and tenants take collective control have incredible potential. Yet, barriers stand in the way of these movements reaching their full potential.
During our years of supporting movements toward democratic, employee ownership, there has been an exponential growth of community-focused entrepreneurs launching cooperatives and existing business owners seeking to sell to their employees. Both groups face a glaring gap: competent legal expertise and legal resources critical to entrepreneurs as they transition to worker ownership. In the Fall of 2018, the Law Center began on an ambitious path to addresses these gaps through funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Through a multi-pronged approach of seven integrated projects, we are beginning to address the gap in legal expertise and legal resources for a national transition towards democratic employee ownership. These projects described within will be shaped and evolve based on the input from stakeholders across the country. However, even as these projects adapt to the needs of our communities, we thought you should know about the initial concepts.
Find information on the San Francisco Bay Area's first Worker Coop Academy, an intensive multi-month training course for teams who want to operate democratically-run, worker-owned enterprises, including replication resources and links to Academies across the country. Currently, the Academy is on pause as we seek funding and support.