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The European Cooperative Society (SCE, for Latin Template:Lang) is, in company law, a European co-operative type of company, established in 2006 and related to the European Company. European Cooperative Societies may be established, and may operate, throughout the European Economic Area (including the European Community). The legal form was created to remove the need for co-operatives to establish a subsidiary in each Member State in which they operate, and to allow them to move their registered office and head office freely from one Member State to another, keeping their legal identity and without having to register or wind up any legal persons. No matter where they are established, SCEs are governed by a single EEA-wide set of rules and principles which are supplemented by the laws on co-operatives in each Member State, and other areas of law.


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Early attemptsEdit

Legislative historyEdit

SCEs in practiceEdit


Article 2(1) of the SCE Regulation[1] provides for SCEs to be formed in five ways:

  • ex novo: by five or more natural persons resident in at least two Member States
  • by a merger between at least two EEA co-operatives governed by the law of at least two different Member States;
  • by at least five natural and legal persons resident in, or governed by the law of, at least two Member States;
  • by conversion of a single EEA co-operative, if it has had an establishment or subsidiary in a different Member State for at least two years.
  • by two or more legal persons governed by the law of at least two Member States;


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The creation of a cooperative: by 5 or more persons residing in different Member States or by legal entities established in different Member States.


Minimum capital requirement: €30,000


Governing lawEdit

Template:Expand section The EEA-wide laws governing the SCE legal form consist of two pieces of EU legislation:

  • Council Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003[1] of 22 July 2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE) which established the SCE legal form.
  • Council Directive 2003/72/EC[2] of 22 July 2003 supplementing the Statute for a European Cooperative Society with regard to the involvement of employees which sets out rules about representation and involvement of employees in European Cooperative Societies.

Both of them were passed into law on 22 July 2003, and the Regulation, which established the SCE legal form, began to apply from 18 August 2006. Thus, subject to the necessary national laws being passed, SCEs could be created in Member States from 18 August 2006.

National law on co-operativesEdit

Transfer of registered officeEdit

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

Template:Co-operatives Template:Use dmy datescs:Evropská družstevní společnost de:Europäische Genossenschaft fr:Société coopérative européenne it:Società cooperativa europea la:Societas Cooperativa Europaea pl:Spółdzielnia europejska sv:Europakooperativ

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