To document staff or board meetings, organizations designate someone to take corporate minutes.
This task typically falls within a corporate board secretary’s duties. If you’ve recently assumed the role of a corporate secretary and are preparing to document corporate meetings for the first time, read on to learn what corporate minutes are, how to write them, and why OnBoard offers the perfect board management solution for your organization.
What Are Corporate Minutes?
Corporate minutes are the official record of the actions taken and decisions made by a corporation’s board of directors during a meeting. As a best practice of corporate governance, the board secretary prepares them during board meetings, and the board must approve the minutes at its next meeting.
Corporate minutes provide a record of what transpires at a board meeting. Once documented, the record can help hold executives and directors accountable for their actions. In addition, corporate minutes can be used to resolve disputes between shareholders, help prevent fraud and mismanagement, and ensure the corporation is run ethically and legally.
How to Write Corporate Minutes
Follow these general guidelines to ensure that corporate minutes are effective and informative.
1. Date and Time of the Meeting
Start by documenting the date and time of the meeting. Doing so helps a company maintain a complete and accurate record of its business.
2. Names of Meeting Participants
Next, list the names of the attendees. This provides a record of who was present in the event that future questions or disputes arise.
3. Purpose of the Meeting
Include a statement defining the reason for the corporate meeting. This helps any person who reads the corporate minutes later on to understand the context of the discussion that took place.
4. Meeting Notes
Meeting notes provide an accurate written record of what the participants discussed and decided at the meeting. They also record the results of any votes.
5. Action Items
Document any action items to take place, including who is assigned to them, to ensure follow-through and that everyone is accountable for their assigned tasks.
After taking corporate minutes, the corporate secretary should distribute the record to those who should be aware of the information contained therein. This may include shareholders, board members, and senior management. Additionally, the secretary should file the minutes in a corporate records repository to make them easily accessible in the future.
OnBoard Powers Effective Corporate Meetings
A board portal platform helps boards hold more intelligent and productive meetings. For example, OnBoard’s platform sends alerts to meeting attendees about pending meeting invites, gives coaching tips, and helps them prepare more effectively. And with a streamlined minutes workflow, corporate or board secretaries can effortlessly make notes, create tasks, track attendance, and mark motions as the meeting progresses.
Download our free Meeting Minutes Template for an example of how the best boards write their minutes to accurately and legally reflect what occurred during the board meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Corporate Minutes Need to be Signed?
The answer to this question depends on the corporate statutes of the state in which the corporation resides. In some states, the corporate secretary or another authorized officer of the corporation must sign corporate minutes. In other states, corporate minutes do not need to be signed.
If there's a plan to move the organization from one jurisdiction to another, it's important to learn how to reincorporate a business to ensure your organization is not on the wrong side of regulators.
What is the Best Format for Corporate Meeting Minutes?
For the best format for corporate meeting minutes, include the date and time, name of meeting participants, purpose of the meeting, meeting notes, and action items. Download our free Meeting Minutes Template for an example of how the best boards write their minutes.
Are Corporate Meeting Minutes Public?
The answer depends on whether the company is a public or private company. Unless legally exempted, committee meetings for public corporations are open to the public. Similarly, their corporate meeting meetings can be made public, unless specifically exempted.
About The Author
- Adam Wire is a Content Marketing Manager at OnBoard who joined the company in 2021. A Ball State University graduate, Adam worked in various content marketing roles at Angi, USA Football, and Adult & Child Health following a 12-year career in newspapers. His favorite part of the job is problem-solving and helping teammates achieve their goals. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two dogs. He’s an avid sports fan and foodie who also enjoys lawn and yard work and running.
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