Key figures

Number of cooperatives per sector

Research overview

Responding to challenges and existing knowledge gaps facing the cooperative movement, this mapping research seeks to provide exhaustive information on cooperatives around the world.

This is achieved through a process jointly conducted by the ICA and its four regional offices – Cooperatives of the Americas, Cooperatives Europe, ICA Africa, and ICA Asia-Pacific – using a common methodology, designed with the support of external experts from the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

Each office collected the input of ICA members present in the countries within its geographic area, by using a common questionnaire, and completing it with relevant national statistics, in order to obtain a picture of the national situation. As a result, the data above is collected following two strategies: 1) a survey targeting ICA cooperative members 2) collecting national statistics already available in the country. The numbers above provide aggregated data from ICA members on the number of cooperatives, as well as the number of cooperative employees and memberships in the country. More methodological information is available in the full report. In Argentina, the data is collected for the reference year 2019.

Mapping out cooperatives in each country provides a more precise picture of the cooperative context at national and regional levels, enhances the movement's visibility, networking, partnerships opportunities, as well as advocacy, and empowers cooperators by providing tools for positive change.

This webpage presents a snapshot of the research results for Argentina. For more information and the full research results, you can download the report by clicking on the links above.



The first cooperative experiences in Argentina developed in the last decades of the 19th century and were fundamentally linked to the massive influx of European immigrants required by the economic model imposed in the country from the organization of the Argentine State. They contributed with not only techniques and work procedures, but also traditions and mutual forms of organization that introduced ideas of solidarity and cooperation through institutions in which they were grouped by nationality, community, religion, social class, job or activity.

these cooperative experiences brought by European immigrants were the basis of the future mutuals, cooperatives, development societies and unions that were created in the country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The first agricultural cooperatives date from this time, created as a defense mechanism and impulse from small producers.



Argentina counts 10 ICA member organisations:

- Agricultores Federados Argentinos Sociedad Cooperativa Limitada (AFA S.C.L.), is a full member in the agricultural sector.

- Confederación Cooperativa de la República Argentina (COOPERAR), is a full member and is the APEX organisation in Argentina.

- Instituto Movilizador de Fondos Cooperativos (IMFC), is a full member and an intersectoral national organization.

- La Segunda Cooperativa Limitada de Seguros Generales, is a full member in the insurance sector.

- Sancor Cooperativa de Seguros Ltda., is a full member in the insurance sector.

- Banco Credicoop Cooperativo Limitado (BCCL), is a full member in the banking sector.

- Confederación Nacional de Cooperativas de Trabajo (C.N.C.T.), is a full member and an associated work national organization.

- Cooperativa de Provisión y Comercialización de Servicios Comunitarios de Radiodifusión COLSECOR Limitada (COLSECOR),  is a full member in the ICT's sector.

- Cooperativa de Trabajos Portuarios Limitada de San Martín (Coop Portuaria), is a full member and an associated work national organization.

- Federación Argentina de Cooperativas de Consumo Ltda. (FACC), is a full member in the consumer sector.

In Argentina the research questionnaire was distributed to and completed by 6 ICA member organisations. The data collected was for the reference year 2019.


Legal framework

Legal framework
Legal framework
Legal framework

The legal framework analysis aims to provide general knowledge of the national cooperative legislation and of its main characteristics and contents, with particular regard to those aspects of regulation regarding the identity of cooperatives and its distinction from other types of business organisations, notably the for-profit shareholder corporation.

It aims to evaluate whether the national legislation in place supports or hampers the development of cooperatives, and is therefore “cooperative friendly” or not, and the degree to which it may be considered so, also in comparison to the legislation in force in other countries of the ICA region, or at the supranational level.

In addition, the research aims to provide recommendations for eventual renewal of the legal frameworks in place in order to understand what changes in the current legislation would be necessary to improve its degree of “cooperative friendliness”, which is to say, to make the legislation more favourable to cooperatives, also in consideration of their specific identity. This webpage presents a snapshot of the legal framework analysis results for Argentina.


Argentinian cooperative legislation is included in the national law Nº 20.337 called Law of Cooperatives (LC) published on the Official Bulletin on 15 May 1973 (www.infoleg.gob.ar). It is necessary to clarify that, even though it is a country with federal political organization, as constitutional mandate the substantial law is national; hence, provinces cannot legislate on this subject. The LC is not part of the Civil and Commercial Code, although the latter recognizes cooperatives as private legal entities. As disposed by the LC (art. 118), cooperatives are additionally governed by the regulations on anonymous societies included in the General Law of Societies Nº 19.550, if they agree with its dispositions and with the nature of cooperatives.


Cooperative Friendliness

Although a general concurrence exists regarding the merit of the specific law of cooperatives, the combination of other applicable laws, rules and regulations leads to the conclusion that, even with some differentiating aspects in the opinions, the categorization that best reflects the support level of the law in general to cooperatives may be synthesized stating that “is more against than in favor of cooperatives”.


Key recommendations for improvement

  • Express recognition of the cooperative difference in the law referred to diverse services avoiding the equal treatment when objective differences exist with for-profit companies.
  • Simplification and acceleration of administrative procedures for the legal constitution and statute reforms of cooperatives.
  • Modernization of the social entities meeting system allowing distance meetings and accounting recording and certificates of contributions through digital means.
  • Recognition of cooperatives as not subject to the income tax instead of exempt, since this treatment only implies a legal concession.
  • Recognition of the Cooperative Act as the core basis for the treatment of cooperatives on fiscal subjects.
  • Ensure cooperative education to be included in the different levels of teaching with adaptation to the various characteristics of each of them.
  • In a future constitutional reform, include the recognition and support of the cooperative movement as a way to ensure public policies appropriate to its nature and ensure, with a clear indication of responsibilities, its effective fulfillment.



It is necessary to highlight that the answers of the member entities of ICA have been limited, but coinciding, in general, between them and with the expert’s opinion. 

On the other hand, the devising of the report has coincided with the parliament process of the yearly budget law of the national public administration which includes disturbing dispositions related to the taxation of cooperatives, which highlights the importance of relying on these investigations and on the orientation leading to an adequate and opportune incidence work. The information on this subject that reflects the situation and experience of other countries, both in the region and worldwide, is considered very opportune.




The legal frameworks analysis is a tool developed under the ICA-EU Partnership #coops4dev. It is an overview of the national legal frameworks at the time of writing. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of the ICA, nor does a reference to any specific content constitute an explicit endorsement or recommendation by the ICA. 

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