We want to live in a society where enterprises and assets are owned and controlled by the communities that depend on them for livelihoods, sustenance, and ecological well-being.

In cooperatives, people are the power. One member, one vote. Believe that!The Sustainable Economies Law Center's Cooperatives Program works to vastly expand the legal resources and cultivate a fertile legal landscape for the growth of cooperatives for the benefit of workers. We provide education, advocacy, research, and advice for worker centered cooperatives, including the creation of legal documents and guidance for best practices.


Worker Cooperative Resources for those looking to start, expand, or convert to worker ownership!

Find our worker centered cooperative projects and resources for starting, supporting, or cultivating worker cooperatives below!


  • Peruse our Law Center's legal resource library for cooperatives, Co-opLaw.org, which provides a forum for sharing, organizing, and making sense of information related to the legalities of cooperatives, including sample bylaws, operating agreements, and plain english guides to coop law.

Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits

  • 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.

Facilitator Guide for Learning to Think Outside the Boss

Immigrant Owned Cooperatives

Worker Coop Academy

  • Find out about the Worker Coop Academy, including curriculum, replication guides, and Academies across the country!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.

Bilingual Legal Guides to Operating a Worker Cooperative

Legal Advice, Information, & Consulting

  • Through our Law Center’s Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, we provide one-time legal advice and consultations multiple times per month across the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a space to come and discuss your cooperative enterprise at any stage of its development, from idea to conversion to operation. We also provide long term representation to a very limited number of clients. For those building worker cooperatives interested in longer term representation from our Law Center, please contact Ricardo S. Nuñez at [email protected].


Find out about the Law Center's cooperative policy advocacy campaigns that put our livelihoods back in our control!

Current Advocacy Projects

City Ordinance for the Promotion of Worker Coops

  • Oakland and Berkeley considering adopting unprecedented programs to support local worker cooperative development. 

California Worker Cooperative Policy Brigade

  • Everyday worker coop members are learning how to intervene in law and policy to advance the coop movement. 

Past Advocacy Projects

California State Workers Comp Legislation

AB 816: California Worker Cooperative Act 



Our cutting edge policy recommendations provide practical steps for policy makers, urban planners, and advocates to support the creation of cooperative economies nationwide. 



Find all the events related to our Cooperatives program, as well as the Teach-ins, workshops, and gatherings that we offer related to building a cooperative economy.



Our Center prioritizes cooperative ventures for a simple reason: We believe that enterprises and assets should be owned and controlled by the communities that depend on them for livelihoods, sustenance, and ecological well-being. The legal architecture of organizations and enterprises is, in many respects, the architecture of our economy. Legal structures dictate how wealth flows through our organizations and how decisions are made. Traditional enterprise models are designed to grow the wealth of people who already have wealth, giving all decision-making power to those same individuals. By contrast, cooperatives put wealth and decisions into the hands of workers and consumers, building community well-being and transforming local economies.

Want more info about our Center's Cooperatives work?

Contact Ricardo Nuñez - [email protected]



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