This article examines the so-called companization of cooperative law. Companization refers to the phenomenon of national cooperative laws adopting elements of efficiency- oriented company legislation; i.e., cooperative societies seem to be slowly transforming into cooperative companies. Companization is a widely recognized issue, but there is little research on the topic. This is unfortunate, since studying companization helps us understand the relationship between cooperative law and company law, and, furthermore, it serves as a gateway to the investigation of the essential nature of cooperatives and why we need them.
This article examines the companization of cooperative law using the Finnish Cooperatives Act (FCA) as a framework for analysis. The FCA is a good instrument for elaborating what companization means in practice, since cooperatives play a larger role in the Finnish economy than anywhere else in the world and since companization has been the conscious objective of Finnish legislators. This research was conducted by reflecting on the FCA in relation to the international cooperative law doctrine, using the ICA’s cooperative principles as a benchmark. The findings reveal many signs of companization, and this does not only concern Finland: Companization is a global trend which requires further attention.European Business Law Review