Enter the European Cooperative Society in the Register of Cooperatives Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

You can set up a cooperative as a European Cooperative Society. The registration must be made electronically in publicly certified form by a notary.

Through your notary, you can apply for registration in the cooperative register in the following cases:

  • in the case of the establishment of a new European Cooperative Society
  • in the event of mergers of existing cooperatives
  • in the event of the conversion of an existing cooperative

A registered European Cooperative Society (SCE "Societas Cooperativa Europaea") is considered a legal person that is itself the bearer of rights and obligations. If the SCE has its registered office abroad but operates branches in Germany, you must register this branch as such for entry in the cooperative register and register a business for it.

  • When setting up a new European Cooperative Society, you must submit the following documents:
    • Statutes of the cooperative
    • Certificate of appointment of the Supervisory Board
    • Certificate from a cooperative auditing association that the European Cooperative Society is admitted to join.
  • Depending on the design of your case, deviating or additional documents are required, through which your notary will advise you.
  • Forms: no
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance necessary: yes
    • at the competent authority: no
    • for notary: yes

Preconditions

  • You must
    • set up a new European Cooperative Society,
    • merge at least 2 cooperatives into a European Cooperative Society, or
    • transform an existing cooperative into a European cooperative.
  • A European Cooperative Society can be set up by at least 5 natural persons residing in at least 2 different Member States of the European Union (EU).
  • A European Cooperative Society can also be set up jointly by a total of at least 5 natural and legal persons, provided that the residences of the natural persons or the law to which the legal persons are subject belong to at least 2 different EU Member States.
  • Without the participation of natural persons, at least 2 legal persons may set up a European Cooperative Society if the establishing legal persons are subject to the law of at least 2 different EU Member States.
  • 2 or more cooperatives may merge into a European Cooperative Society if at least 2 of the merging cooperatives are governed by the law of different EU Member States.
  • An existing cooperative can be converted into a European cooperative if the existing cooperative
    • was founded in a member state of the EU,
    • has its registered office or head office in an EU Member State, and
    • has a branch or cooperative subsidiary that has existed for at least 2 years in another EU member state and is subject to the law applicable there.
  • In the event of incorporation, merger or transformation, you must involve your employees. For this, in principle,
    • there is an agreement on the involvement of employees,
    • the negotiating body has decided not to open or break off negotiations, or
    • the negotiation period has expired.
  • The European Cooperative Society must be admitted to join a cooperative audit association.

Related Links

  • Articles 2, 11, 18 Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 of 22.07.2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE Regulation)
  • § 3 Law implementing Council Regulation (EC) No. 1435/2003 of 22 July 2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE Implementation Act SCEAG)
  • § 17 Act implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 of 22 July 2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE Implementation Act SCEAG)
  • § 35 Act implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 of 22 July 2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE Implementation Act SCEAG)
  • §§ 10 to 11a Of the Cooperative Law (GenG)
  • § 14 Cooperative Law (GenG)
  • § 157 Cooperative Law (GenG)
  • §§ 36 and 37 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG)
  • § 12 German Commercial Code (HGB)
  • § 26 Commercial Register Ordinance (HRV)
  • Ordinance on the Register of Cooperatives (GenRegV)
  • Act on the Participation of Employees in a European Cooperative Society (SCE Participation Act - SCEBG)
  • Transformation Act (UmwG)

You must prepare your application with the assistance of a notary.

  • The notary
    • advises you,
    • prepares the application in accordance with the legal requirements and
    • sends the application in electronic form and with an electronic signature to the electronic court and administrative mailbox of the competent registry court.
  • The competent registry court will contact you and demand an advance payment of the costs in the amount of the expected costs.
  • If the registry court complains about something after examining your documents, it will contact you or your notary.
    • You can send in any additional documents or evidence that may be required.
  • If the court refuses registration, you will receive a negative court decision.
  • If, after checking your documents, there is no complaint, the entry in the cooperative register takes place.
    • You will receive a registration notification and a final cost statement.
  • If important changes occur, you must re-register them through a notary for entry in the cooperative register, for example changes regarding
    • registered office or company,
    • Legal form or
    • Authorized representative.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection

Last update or date of publication
30.11.2021