Legal framework


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 Mexico.



In Mexico, according to the constitutional framework, the cooperatives are regulated starting from their mention in the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, which establishes the obligation of the Mexican State to govern the full and sustainable national development through, among other things, the promotion of economic growth and employment that allows the exercise of the freedom and dignity of Mexicans. To comply with this, the State through the law will establish mechanisms for the organization and expansion of the economic activity of the social sector, among which are the cooperatives. To comply with the constitutional mandate, the Mexican legislators integrated the cooperatives (as an associative figure) into the General Law of Mercantile Corporations.


Cooperative Friendliness

There are no legal barriers or impediments arising from regulation, since even the General Law of Cooperative Corporations itself establishes a chapter related to the "support for cooperative corporations", but the problem is in the execution and enforcement of the legal postulate, as well as in the sanctions for its non-compliance by becoming an imperfect norm, which establishes duties and obligations, but does not impose consequences for non-compliance.


Key recommendations for improvement

  • Allow the operation of financial activities or services that are currently reserved for financial groups with a mercantilist approach.
  • Establish the responsibility of an entity of the Mexican State to set up a cooperative registry.
  • Clearly define the concept of "cooperative act", as well as its scope, consequences and jurisdiction of the courts and entities of the State responsible for its implementation.
  • To replicate in its case the experience of Mexico City regarding the publication of a Law of Cooperative Development, but of federal application and binding for the State entities.
  • Establish mandatory mechanisms to comply with what is currently mandated by the General Law of Cooperative Corporations.



Cooperative legislation in Mexico is too general, which could be taken advantage of by anyone to use the figure as a means of developing initiatives and productive activities, however, criticism of the outdated General Law of Cooperative Corporations is unanimous and what is required is a modification that includes and specifies in the permit any legal economic activity, establishing the necessary provisions so that public policies and legislation allow the operation of cooperatives of insurance, health, energy, association of moral persons (legal persons), definition and nature of the cooperative act (as opposed to the commercial or mercantile act), among others.


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