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Organizational structure of our cooperative business

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memenode's picture
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Dylunio has already described a potential system by which our cooperative business could work, here. In this thread we can continue to discuss it. We need to determine the best way to organize and structure ourselves.

Dylunio described what it could function like if it will be a single cooperative organization. It basically looks like a system based on equal shareholding in the company, equal tasks and ultimately equal profits. Smiling

In a further discussion I've had with Taco later in our IRC channel we have identified an alternative structure to a single cooperative organization, a sort of a freelance alliance. If forming a single cooperative org proves to be too impractical due to some reasons such as legal issues then it might be easier to simply register ourselves as freelancers within our own countries, but team up over the net into an alliance (I believe no law would prevent something like this as in essence we'd simply be parterning with each other).

Both of these potential structures should be fairly considered. I personally don't yet prefer either. We should together analyze both possibilities to see what would end up working best for us.

If you have a third proposition for organization and structure of our cooperative business, feel free to propose it.

In any case I think it is very important to keep one thing. We should be seen as one entity, even if we legally end up being multiple different entities (freelancers). The reason is simply because it is much easier to present ourselves to the market and community if we are advertised as one group under one name as one entity, rather than a bunch of guys scattered around the net (even though we actually are that). We should have a common brand name under which we will create our projects and offer our services. Smiling

Thanks

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A side effect would be that

A side effect would be that the brand name has to be owned by one of the freelancers instead of the whole group. Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure, we could also have multiple brands for different types of business, and each type of business would need one "main person" anyway...

For the website project we are currently discussing I think a coop would be better, for other projects this might be different. Of course we could also have both: a coop for the projects we all support, and freelancing the projects that are not supported by all (but do mention them on the website of the coop).

monserrat's picture
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Dylunio wrote: Quote: The

Dylunio wrote:

Quote:

The idea presented in that private topic is just one of the potential projects that we could work on as part of our business. The concept is actually quite simple in itself. We do research, development and implementation

Yes, I agree with your concept, very clear. We can use it as a base for this specific project. For the other I'm not so sure.

Taco asked for more information about ABPES. It's a Brazilian association of researchers on Solidary Economy. They do researches about the cooperative experiences that are now increasing gradually in number, in Brazil and several other countries. I'll look for some sites in English to show it clearer. In Europa this 'Solidary Economy' is also called 'Social Economy', which is based on more cooperative values, not only on traditional free market and race for profit. The work done by these researchers are unfortunatelly too isolated from each other, that's why I proposed them an interactive site, that could offer a more close "space" to exchange their ongoing researches, with space for their papers, for talking to each other, to publish new events on their work area, that is, to interact closer among them.

And my wife called me to rush home... :-(

Never mind, I'll continue later! :-)

Monserrat.

dylunio's picture
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The problem with going

The problem with going freelance with this is the problem of payment; people will not be wanting to pay five different people, when they were just interacting with the allience which they would see as an entity. Also as you say libervisco there may be problems with brand names, and who owns them etc.

dylunio

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I see... Then creating the

I see... Then creating the website for ABPES is a good idea, that way we will have some friends with knowledge related to what we are trying to do.

memenode's picture
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Hmm it seems that a single

Hmm it seems that a single organization, a coop, still seems like our best shot. Those who want to take freelancing aside of it can do so, but if we are all registered within a co-op then freelancing registration isn't really a must. It's either this or that.

But one thing I really want to avoid and am hence emphasizing it, is not to end up being seen as multiple entities with which people would have to interact. One way or another we have to find a way to be percieved and to function as one entity.

Also, yes, doing the ABPES site sounds good. I'm just not sure when should we start with it. Taco will be busy with studies and we haven't yet concluded the discussion on organization. I think it's better to first determine the form in which we will exist so that we can best test ourselves working on ABPES in that form.

Btw, if it will be a cooperative organization (single org) then we'd have to see which country would be most suitable as legal base of this cooperative, that is, its headquarters. I've had Brazil in mind as I percieve it as quite liberal and encouraging these kinds of businesses so their laws may be best suited for an international cooperative like this.

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monserrat's picture
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Lawyer

Maybe we should ask some lawyers about this international association or co-op. If there is a way round to get formalized such a trans-country cooperative organization...

Monserrat.

memenode's picture
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Yes, we could no doubt use

Yes, we could no doubt use some professional legal advice here. We should get in contact with someone who knows this stuff and works in that field. Time to browse some lawyer sites and directories. Smiling

EDIT: Of course, we need someone who is familiar with international laws and who could tell us among the countries we're in, which one could be most suitable for founding such a cooperative from. And of course we'll have to check the laws in the country we live ourselves too (basically read the ones that deal with starting businesses like this.)

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monserrat's picture
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A single entity

Danijel wrote:

Quote:

In any case I think it is very important to keep one thing. We should be seen as one entity, even if we legally end up being multiple different entities (freelancers)

I agree. I'm already thinking how to ask ABPES to present us in order to get its site as our web development, and what came to my mind was some doubts: what is our name as an entity? And, are we a group of free software supporters that would like to make the site? Or, are we a cooperative group that intends to form a cooperative organisation? I don't know... Or, my friends in the net that... How to present ourselves to them?

In anycase, I think we should present us as a single entity that will... etc. What about?

I've already sent a question about that legal issue to Brendan Scott, a lawyer of FOSS, let's see if he will reply.

monserrat's picture
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Other problems

Dylunio wrote:

Quote:

The problem with going freelance with this is the problem of payment; people will not be wanting to pay five different people, when they were just interacting with the allience which they would see as an entity. Also as you say libervisco there may be problems with brand names, and who owns them etc.

Yes... more or less the same problem to present us to the future clients...

monserrat's picture
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An idea

Maybe we could present us as the Group Libervis for Open Media Services... What about? (I don't like... :-( )

Monserrat.

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