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 Jordan.



In Jordan, there are two principal legislations that regulate the work of cooperatives - the Co-operative Law (No. 18 of 1997) and the Cooperative Societies Charter (No. 36 of 2016). These two legislations govern all different types of cooperatives.


Main Laws relevant to cooperatives in Jordan

Co-operative Law (No. 18 of 1997) - Establishes and provides for the administration of the Jordan Cooperative Corporation, an entity established by law and mandated the responsibility of overseeing, promoting and registering cooperatives.

Cooperative Societies Charter - Governs the registration and administration of cooperatives


The cooperative law makes explicit reference to the cooperative principles. However, the law does not define what these principles are. The Cooperative Societies Charter contains some implicit references to these principles.


Cooperative friendliness

Due to a lack of some important provisions, the Jordanian cooperative legislation is deemed more unfriendly than friendly. This is because the objective of the law is not defined at all. Also, there is a lack of clarity regarding definitions and preambles in the legislations which weakens the cooperative identity. The authority to audit a cooperative is not vested in the General Assembly but in the Jordan Cooperative Corporation.


Key recommendations for improvement

  • Cooperative legislation needs to be complemented with Rules or Regulations for its effective implementation.
  • The redrafting of cooperative legislation is required to safeguard cooperatives from external control which compromises their democracy and autonomy.
  • Members’ use of cooperative must be given more prominence in the law.



Cooperatives in Jordan need an enabling environment that strengthens their autonomy and facilitates their access to financial and technical support.


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