Tools & Resources

 AK Co-op Sourcebook

A comprehensive sourcebook dedicated to starting, forming, and expanding a co-op in Alaska. This sourcebook is a on-going work in progress, and we encourage users to send us feedback and help add content to the site by e-mailed us at This resource is intended to assist in the creation of by-laws, co-op legal structure, and tax structures. However, it is in no way a substantiate for working with tax and accounting professionals as you form your co-op. We have also included a section on "Getting Started! Business Principles" for those who are in the beginning stages of planning and forming. 


Co-ops 101: An Introduction to Cooperatives by USDA Rural Development 

"Abstract: This report provides a comprehensive summary of basic information on the cooperative way of organizing and operating a business. It covers the nature and extent of the use of cooperatives, compares cooperatives to other business structures, explains the roles various people play in a cooperative, and discusses equity accumulation and income taxation. The purpose is to make available, in a single report, the information someone would need to acquire a general understanding of how cooperatives function."


Understanding Cooperatives: How to Start a Cooperative

Walk-through guild to the first steps and stages to starting a co-op. A great place to start if you have an idea for a new cooperative! 


How to Start a Cooperative by USDA Rural Development 

Slideshow outlining the steps, timeline, pitfalls, and rules for success to starting a co-op.


Cooperatives Essentials: What they are and the role of members, directors, managers, and employees By USDA Rural Development

"Abstract: This is an educational guide for teaching basic information about cooperatives. It explains what cooperatives are—their business, principle, and structural characteriza- tions, and the responsibilities and roles of cooperative members, directors, managers, and employees."


Copper River Fishermens Co-op

In 1983 a small group of fishermen, working together created a business that within two years was selling $5,000,000 worth of salmon, and had over 130 members.  In three years it owned a million dollar processing facility and was buying 30% of the Copper River sockeye run, and along the way it created the Copper River brand.  But, despite this success, within ten years of its founding the co-op was in bankruptcy and had disappeared from the scene. This is a collection of interviews from those involved with the Copper River Fishermens Co-op. 


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 Demand for Local Produce in Interior Alaska

"The Demand for Local Produce in the Interior – 2014 Market Study is a market analysis conducted by the Alaska Cooperative Development Program (ACDP), in partnership with the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation (FEDC), and farmers in Interior Alaska. This study summarizes data from forty one-on-one interviews conducted with large and small produce buyers around Fairbanks, including retailers, restaurants, cafés, and institutions."