I am unable to find a single co-op in the U.S. that provides fiscal hosting to help other co-ops get started. If anyone knows of one (or wants to start one) I'd love to hear from you. I feel like this *has* to be a thing.

To clarify: a fiscal host acts as the legal entity and bank account for other smaller entities. So an organization that's already established as a co-op will hold your money in their bank account so that you don't have to worry about handling taxes or book keeping while you get started and if you need to sign a contract or something it's technically with the parent organization so you can use their business vehicle. I know of lots of non-profit ones, but none specifically for developing co-ops.

@sam In the non-profit context a "fiscal sponsorship" arrangement allows a project to get started under the tax-exempt aegis of an existing tax-exempt nonprofit. That enable the new project to solicit donations that require tax-exempt status. My org has fiscally sponsored some startup co-ops for that purpose - they can get grants where a (technically for-profit) co-op cannot.

Outside of the tax-exempt need, most startup co-ops can simply open a bank account & do their own bookkeeping early on.


@beckett That's definitely a big benefit of doing it in the non-profit context, but in a for-the-benefit-of-members co-op that may not have a non-profit mission I still think it can be useful. It effectively becomes collective accounting/lawyering, which could save a small co-op lots in expenses until they need more control over their own finances and the like.

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