Dominican Republic



Dominican Republic

Key figures

Number of cooperatives per sector
Employees and members 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 the Dominican Republic, the data is collected for the reference year 2018 and 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 the Dominican Republic. For more information and the full research results, you can download the report by clicking on the links above.



According to the Conacoop website, cooperativism began in mid-1946, and was in charge of priests of the Scarboro order, organizing the first savings and credit cooperative in Manoguayabo by Father Alfonso Chafe, then also Father Santiago Walsh, parish priest from Bayaguána, organized another cooperative.

The order of the Scarboros fathers observed the need to bring a person technically trained in cooperative matters and made the knowledge of their superiors in Canada, who did not hesitate in the decision to be taken, sending Reverend Pablo Steele to San Francisco de Macorís, who Since his arrival, he was in charge of the Villa de Boyá parish and at the same time was in charge of drawing up plans for the promotion of cooperatives throughout the country.



Dominican Republic counts ICA member organisations:

- Cooperativa Nacional de Servicios Múltiples de los Maestros (COOPNAMA), is a full member in several sectors.

Cooperativa de Servicios múltiples de Profesionales de Enfermería Inc. (COOPROENF), is a full member in several sectors.

Cooperativa por Distritos y Servicios Múltiples "Vega Real", Inc., is a full member in the finance sector.

Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples La Telefónica (COOPSEMUTEL), is a full member in several sectors.

Fundación Dominicana para el Desarrollo Social y Cooperativo (FUNDESCOOP), is an associate member in the education sector.

In Dominican Republic the research questionnaire was distributed to and completed by 2 ICA member organisations. The data collected was for the reference year 2018 and 2019.


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 Dominican Republic.



There are two special laws in effect that fundamentally represent the legal situation for cooperatives: Organic Law No. 31-63 of October 25, 1963 and Law No. 127-64 of January 27, 1964.

a)    Organic Law No. 31-63 was created by the Institute for Cooperative Development and Credit (IDECOOP, for its acronym in Spanish) as an autonomous corporation of the Dominican State with legal personality, with its own and independent assets and unlimited duration, conceived with the purpose of encouraging and promoting the development of the cooperative system. 

b)    Law No. 127-64 of January 27, 1964, is a general norm of national enforcement that regulates Cooperative Associations. Savings and Credit Cooperatives are subject under the spectrum of the same Law and are not regulated or supervised by the Monetary or Financial Authority, at the moment there is no order of priority between the different kinds of cooperatives. 


Cooperative Friendliness

There is a general coincidence of recognition of the growth of cooperatives, despite their antiquated legislation. However, despite applicable laws, regulations and norms, there are nuances that seek to provide cooperatives with a modern legal framework that contributes to the comprehensive strengthening of cooperative societies.


Key recommendations for improvement

  • The adoption of a new legal framework designated as the Cooperative Code of the Dominican Republic that seeks to strengthen Cooperative Values and Principles and the Cooperative Identity 
  • Recognition of the cooperative act as the axis for the treatment of cooperatives in fiscal matters.
  • Ensure a tax regime that preserves the legal nature of cooperatives as private entities of social interest for the State; with a change in the paradigmatic model that involves the practice of political will with a vision of sustained development and oriented towards the full appreciation of human beings.



Prioritizing the development of strong institutional policies of cooperatives is of vital importance to strengthen governance which is only achieved with a joint effort from the entities that interact with cooperatives to standardize an updated and sustainable cooperative legal framework in its applicability.




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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