Corporate Minutes

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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One of the best ways to ensure that your meetings are productive is to designate a specific person to record each meeting in the context of corporate minutes. Corporate minutes can be one of the most valuable tools you have both to manage your business effectively and to safeguard critical information about decisions made and actions discussed or taken during the meetings.

Corporate Minutes Elements

Meeting minutes should be as detailed as possible. There should be no part of the meeting that is not recorded. Many jurisdictions require complete board minutes, especially of high-level meetings in corporations, as part of normal business procedures. Meeting minutes can be used to enforce decisions or arguments should a legal issue arise.

The first element of the minutes should be the date, time, and location of the meeting. Today's meetings are sometimes conducted via speakerphone, using video technology, and even on the Internet. If the venue is other than a face-to-face meeting in a single room, the other methods of communication should be stated. The next element to be included should be a complete list of attendees and those who were invited but did not attend. Again, if participants are in different physical locations, the other locations should be described.

The Body of Corporate Minutes

In the body of the minutes, the writer should include statements as close as possible to exactly what was said. In order to provide the opportunity to review the minutes for correctness, a recording device may be used with the consent of all of those present. There should be a clear record of any votes taken, including the exact description of the action to be taken, the names of all participants and how they voted, and the final result of the vote. Finally, the name of the recorder should be entered, and the minutes of the current meeting should be sent to all participants before the next meeting so that they can vote to accept the minutes at a later date.

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