Stakeholder Ownership and Cooperatives
Shared ownership is part of the foundation of an equitable economy, and is a core part of our practice at PathLight Law.
We think creatively, flexibly, and practically about stakeholder ownership, which can take many forms. Where there is democratic governance and profit-sharing, a cooperative can be a good fit. Collectively, our team has decades of experience working with cooperative laws, cooperative-specific legal issues, and other forms of shared ownership. We believe in democratic economic empowerment, and we want to help cooperatives thrive.
For new cooperatives, we provide
- legal entity choice and structuring
- key governance documents
- strategy, legal compliance, and documentation for capital-raising
- service contracts
*Certain cooperatives will qualify for our lean co-op start-up service package. Contact Us to learn more*
For established cooperatives, we provide
- strategy, legal compliance, and documentation for raising growth capital
- governance support
- support through major transactions
For employee ownership transactions and worker cooperative conversions, we provide
- counsel on the legal options
- choice and structuring of employee ownership legal vehicles including LLCs, corporations, cooperatives, and employee ownership trusts
- services for capital-raising to help fund the sale
- negotiation and documentation of the purchase
- support for new employee-owners learning their new governance roles
We serve all types of cooperatives, including
- worker cooperatives
- consumer cooperatives (food co-ops, buying clubs)
- agricultural cooperatives
- producer cooperatives
- multi-stakeholder and “hybrid” cooperatives
- platform cooperatives
- real estate cooperatives
- investment cooperatives
If you are considering a complex stakeholder-owned entity, we can likely clarify your options. Contact Us if you would like to talk about this.
An existing business can be converted to a cooperative through a purchase, or by re-organizing an existing entity. We have helped founders offer equity to workers while remaining at their company, or sell to their employees in order to retire.
Worker Cooperative Formations
We regularly form worker cooperatives, and we have a stream-lined, reduced-cost service for simple worker co-op formations.
Grocery Cooperative Formations
We have formed several start-up grocery cooperatives, and helped them use registered or exempt public offerings of preferred shares to raise capital.
Legal support for established cooperatives
We provide legal service for capital-raising, organizational and governance support, and strategy for new projects.
Creative structuring for scale
Cooperative forms, repeatable transactions, and/or community capital strategies can be used for large-scale projects.