In order to know the meaning of the term cooperative, it is necessary to proceed to discover its etymological origin. In this case, it must be established that it derives from Latin, exactly from “cooperativus”, which can be translated as “working together with others”. Word that is the result of the sum of three clearly differentiated parts:
-The prefix “co-“, which is synonymous with “jointly”.
-The verb “operari”, which can be translated as “to work”.
-The suffix “-tivo”, which is used to indicate a “passive or active relationship”.
The term cooperative can be used as an adjective or as a noun. In the first case, it allows qualifying the one or the thing that cooperates: that is, that acts in favor of the purposes or intentions of someone or that proceeds in conjunction with another or others to fulfill a common objective.
As a substantive, the idea of a cooperative refers to a type of society that is constituted for the common benefit of its members. These associations are organized in a democratic manner and are administered according to the agreement established by their partners.
According to abbreviationfinder.org, cooperatives are autonomous entities of individuals who come together voluntarily with the intention of satisfying their economic, cultural and/or social needs through a jointly owned corporation, whose control is democratic. Unlike a company, in which there are always one or more owners, cooperatives do not have owners (or, in other words, all their members are the owners of the entity).
There are several principles that govern the operation of a cooperative. The associates, who can join and withdraw from the company voluntarily, have an economic participation. If a surplus is recorded, it belongs to the partners. Cooperatives, on the other hand, must work for the good of their community.
It is important to know that cooperatives offer a long list of advantages over other types of companies. We are referring to advantages such as the following:
-The partners that comprise it are only responsible according to the capital they contribute.
-They are allowed to enjoy certain bonuses and even exemptions to what is tax level.
-Members can register and unsubscribe from the cooperative whenever they wish.
-The management of what is the cooperative is carried out in a safe way, without risks.
-The partners participate in an absolutely democratic manner in making all the decisions.
-The information is very fluid and reaches all cooperative members.
-No less important is that another great advantage of forming a cooperative is that it is exempt from having to face what are registration expenses and even pay income tax.
Producer cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives, consumer cooperatives , savings and credit cooperatives, transportation cooperatives, and school cooperatives are some of the different classes of these associations. The Scottish publisher AK Press, the Argentine bank Credicoop and the Spanish wineries Cristo de la Vega are examples of cooperatives.