N.Y. Cooperative Corporations Law Section 3


The term “agricultural product” means any product of cultivating land, and includes floricultural, horticultural, viticultural, forestry, nut, dairy, livestock, poultry, bee and any farm products or by-products thereof.


The terms “feed,” “food,” and “food products” mean any substance capable of human, animal or poultry consumption, including all articles of drink, confectionery or condiment, whether simple, mixed or compound, and all substances or ingredients added to food for any purpose.


The terms “cooperative,” “cooperative association” and “cooperative corporation” mean a corporation organized under this chapter, or heretofore organized under any special or general law of this state, for the cooperative rendering of mutual help and service to its members. A cooperative shall be either a general cooperative, a membership cooperative, an agricultural cooperative as defined in article 6 (Agricultural Cooperative Corporation)article six of this chapter or a worker cooperative as defined in § 81 (Definitions)section eighty-one of this chapter.


A cooperative corporation shall be classed as a non-profit corporation, since its primary object is not to make profits for itself as such, or to pay dividends on invested capital, but to provide service and means whereby its members may have the economic advantage of cooperative action, including a reasonable and fair return for their product and service.


The term “member” means the holder of a membership in a cooperative, whether evidenced by a certificate of membership or by a certificate of stock or by other authorized means of identification. The term includes a member association or corporation as provided in this chapter.


The term “person” includes an individual, a partnership, a corporation, an association, or two or more individuals acting together.


The term “net margins” or “net retained proceeds” means the amount by which the undistributed receipts from operations exceed the expenses thereof.


The term “patron” refers to persons, partnerships, associations and corporations who transact business with the cooperative either as producers or purchasers, whether members or not.


A cooperative corporation does not include any corporation which is formed or may be formed under the banking law, the insurance law, the railroad law or the transportation corporations law. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, no cooperative corporation shall do any business for which a corporation may be formed under any such law; but the lawful operations of a cooperative credit corporation as authorized in this chapter shall not be deemed banking or violation of any provisions of law as to banking.


The term “cooperative,” “cooperation” or any abbreviation, variation or similitude thereof, shall not be used as or in a name except by a corporation defined in this chapter. Any cooperative corporation may sue for an injunction against such prohibited use of the term. A violation of this prohibition is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.


A membership cooperative is a non-stock cooperative which admits only natural persons to membership, which provides services only to its members and which makes no distribution of net retained proceeds other than to its members on the basis of their patronage.


The terms “buying, selling or leasing homes for its members” and “conducting housing” shall include but not be limited to, the purposes and uses of residential facilities for the mentally disabled licensed by the office of mental health or the office for people with developmental disabilities.

Source: Section 3 — Definitions, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/CCO/3 (updated Dec. 20, 2019; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Dec. 20, 2019

§ 3’s source at nysenate​.gov

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