Guide to writing effective board meeting minutes

The minutes reflect the actual state of the issue in the organization on the day and hour of the meeting. In this article, we will consider how to create board meeting minutes properly.

The purpose of creating minutes

It is known that the minutes are the most important part of any meeting. Important decisions are typically made at board meetings, which means it is important to accurately record both the discussions and the decisions themselves during the meeting. Still, taking minutes at a board meeting doesn’t have to be a deterrent. The minutes of a board meeting must contain the relevant individual information about the meeting as well as a summary of the discussions and the decisions made.

Minutes is an official document based on which management has the right to require employees to perform the tasks assigned to them. The minutes that correctly capture the main content of the speeches and the wording of the decisions made can be an invaluable aid in official conflicts arising from unintentional or intentional distortions of someone’s opinion, forgetfulness, or misunderstanding. The importance of documenting the process of collective decision-making is growing in a market economy when the number of joint-stock companies, associations, and other collegial business structures with the participation of many legal entities and individuals – property entities. Therefore, the preparation of minutes on all issues, and especially the results of the vote (with the addition of ballots for a secret ballot, minutes of counting commissions, etc.), must be treated with the utmost care and diligence.

What are the requirements to board meeting minutes?

The rules for keeping minutes for meetings of the board of directors presuppose that the decisions made are included in them, and not the full text of the statements of the members of the board. In addition, the minutes shall include the opinions of the council members who voted against the adopted decisions or abstained from voting. After drawing up the minutes of the meeting, it is certified by the chairman of the board and the corporate secretary. The signed minutes are sent to the members of the board of directors before the start of the next meeting. Together with the certified minutes, the opinions of directors who did not participate in the meeting (in writing), as well as voting ballots must be preserved.

A board meeting has specific requirements, thus it is important to keep these 4 key elements in mind when keeping the board minutes:

  • Preparation – date, time, place, participants, and purpose of the meeting;
  • Reminders – reminders related to the session itself and tasks to be prepared;
  • Bringing in – special guests and concessions;
  • Acknowledgments – final list of participants, parts of the agenda, and template for the minutes of the meeting.

Basic tips for the efficient board meeting minutes

There are the following tips for taking minutes of a board meeting:

  • Determine the correct format for the minutes or use a template;
  • Record the start and end (time) of the session as well as the location and participants;
  • Capture discussions and decisions made, and note who said what;
  • Make a note of any topics not discussed for subsequent meetings;
  • Remember to distribute the minutes to the participants after the meeting;
  • Record the presence and absence of board members;
  • Record all relevant discussions, decisions, tasks, and all topics that have not yet been assigned;
  • Formate minutes according to the company standards, if necessary including the required signatures.