2013 Maryland Code
CORPORATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS
§ 5-5A-02 - Definitions
(a) In general. -- In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b) Consumer cooperative or cooperative. --
(1) "Consumer cooperative" or "cooperative" means a corporation converted or organized under this subtitle, which operates or intends to operate on a cooperative basis for the mutual benefit of its members, subscribers, and patrons and conforms to this subtitle.
(2) "Consumer cooperative" does not include credit unions.
(c) Cooperative basis. -- "Cooperative basis" as applied to any entity or corporation referred to in this subtitle means:
(1) Except as otherwise provided in the case of a federated cooperative in § 5-5A-20 of this subtitle, that each member has only 1 vote and that proxy voting is prohibited;
(2) That the annual return on stock or membership capital does not exceed the allowable amount specified in the articles of incorporation or bylaws of the cooperative;
(3) That the net savings of the entity must be distributed in accordance with § 5-5A-22 of this subtitle;
(4) That membership in the entity must be available on a voluntary basis and be open to all persons who can make use of its services and are willing to accept the responsibilities of membership; and
(5) That the entity is engaged in providing goods or services for the primary and mutual benefit of the membership.
(d) Delegate. -- "Delegate" means a representative of the members elected either from the membership at large or from specific geographic districts or groups of members as defined in the bylaws.
(e) Federated cooperative. -- "Federated cooperative" means a cooperative which is primarily owned and controlled by, and provides goods or services to entities operating on a cooperative basis.
(f) Foreign cooperative. -- "Foreign cooperative" means an entity operating on a cooperative basis which is organized or incorporated under the laws of a state other than Maryland.
(g) Member. -- "Member" means a person or household who has been qualified and accepted for membership in a cooperative according to its bylaws.
(h) Membership capital. -- "Membership capital" means a member's capital contribution to the cooperative to secure the benefits of membership in the cooperative.
(i) Net savings. -- "Net savings" means a cooperative's total income minus the cost of operation, including reserves.
(j) Person. -- "Person" means a natural person or any incorporated or unincorporated entity.
(k) Savings return. -- "Savings return" means any payment or allocation made by the cooperative out of net savings which is computed on the basis of the patron's business with the cooperative and refunded in accordance with § 5-5A-22 of this subtitle.
(l) Subscriber. -- "Subscriber" means any person or entity eligible for membership and legally obligated to purchase a share or shares of, or membership in, the cooperative in accordance with its bylaws.
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