Cooperatives (Genossenschaft) and Associations (Verein)

Cooperatives do not have a fixed share capital. They are characterised by highly changing numbers of members. The purpose of cooperatives entails supporting the members’ acquisition or management. At least three founding members are necessary. The cooperative is represented by its Board of Directors, its activity is subject to monitoring by cooperative monitoring associations. Only the cooperative’s assets are liable towards creditors for the cooperative’s debts. The precondition for formation is a written agreement (statutes).

The Register courts keep a register of cooperatives, in which such organisations have to be entered.

As a matter of principle, the legal form of association is not available for commercial and/or economic purposes. The granting of legal capacity of an association by entry into the Register of Associations presupposes an ideal objective of the association. However, supplementary economic activities, the so-called subsidiary purpose privilege, such as selling beverages, are admissible.