The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council provides a variety of resources designed to help both new and existing co-operatives to grow and expand their business. You may contact our offices for information and assistance on any of the following:


Incorporation Assistance

The Nova Scotia Co-operative Council works closely with the Co-operatives Branch and the Registry of Joint Stock Companies. Together, we have developed a simple incorporation procedure and model articles and by-laws for ‘for-profit’ and ‘non-profit’ structures. We can assist new co-operatives develop the incorporation that best suits the needs of the group. We can provide information on board liability issues, governance practices, management systems, demonstrations of the co-operative advantage, and create connections with other co-operatives and support groups. There is no charge for this basic service.

Law & Practices Advisory

There are subtle but important differences in co-operative law from company law. Co-operative law has been developed over the past one hundred years in response of ordinary people who want to operate their own organization. The NSCC has worked closely with the Government of Nova Scotia to assure the legislation and its administration reflects the needs of Nova Scotians. The legislation provides for ‘for-profit’ and ‘non-profit’ structures, each having its own requirements and special considerations.
[/one_third][one_third_last]By-Law Development & Up-Dating

By-Law Development & Up-Dating

It is suggested that boards review their articles and by-laws at the end of each year to see if changes are required. If they are needed, amendments need to be approved by the annual general meeting. Contact one of our NSCC Business Development Officers for help reviewing your present by-laws and suggestions on how to make changes easily. Our Business Development Officers will check with the Inspector of Co-operatives to make sure the new articles and by-laws meet the revised Act and the administrator’s requirements.

[one_third]CEDIF Development

CEDIF Development

The province’s Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) Program is a great way for co-operatives to seek investment in the expansion of their “for profit” ventures. Contact our Business Development Officers to learn more about how these personal tax credits of 60 percent or more may add additional equity to your existing co-operative or expansion.


The NSCC has put together a library of publications detailing how to start and run a co-op effectively. They are available from our office in hard cover and appear on-line in the publications section of this website. The publications include How to Start a Co-operative, What are Co-operatives? Forming Your Co-operative and the Co-operative Business Plan Workbook. These publications explain the role of directors, what members do, the role of the manager, and the role of the employees in co-operatives. They can be found in the Publications section.


Over 20 articles have been developed to assist co-operatives in understanding how co-operatives work and how you can use the co-operative model to accomplish your goals for the benefit of members and your community. We are committed to adding articles as we think they may assist your co-operative. They can be found under the publications section. Copies of recent annual reports can be found via the annual reports link. Back copies of our Communiqu├ęs can be found in our archive under News and Initiatives.



There have been over 1,000 co-operatives incorporated in Nova Scotia since co-operatives first had their Act of Parliament in 1904. Many of the early artefacts, publications, videos, books, and historical documents have been collected and are stored in archives at the library of Dalhousie University – Faculty of Agriculture. The archiving effort was made possible by library staff and funding provided by the Nova Scotia Sheep Producers Association and HRSDC. George Labelle, PA Moran, and others were significant contributors to the collection. Visit the library or for more information on the history of the co-operative movement in Atlantic Canada. We are also interested in expanding the collection and we would welcome your contributions.
[/one_third][one_third]Seminars & Workshops

Seminars & Workshops

Seminars and workshops on co-operative development, governance, and management are available. Watch this website for notices or contact one of our Business Development Officers for more information. We can tailor our presentations to accommodate your needs.
[/one_third][one_third_last]Sector Information

Sector Information

Equity housing, funeral homes, cemeteries, water and utilities, farmer’s markets, health and medical centres, and investments (CEDIFs) are some examples of co-operative sectors that we have worked with recently and would be pleased to share our experiences and associations with you. Contact us for more information on your co-operative sector.



A listing of links to useful sites dealing with co-operative issues can be found in the links section of our website.