As business owners, we often have meetings with our team, board members, investors, etc. In many cases, you’re required to keep a record of your meeting minutes. However, the idea of keeping minutes of meeting records can be a little confusing to some. That’s why today’s entry is all about how to keep effective meeting minutes.
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Before we get into the “how,” I want to take a moment to explore the “what.” What is a minute? Obviously, it is a measurement of time, but what is a minute in the context of minutes of meeting? You see, I’m a curious person by nature, and I always enjoy a little history lesson. So, where does the term come from?
The term comes from the Latin phrase, “minuta scriptura.” This literally means “small writing” or, in a more modernized term, “rough notes.” They exist to keep an official account of what takes place in your business’ meetings. They help inform people who weren’t in attendance to understand what went on during the meeting. This includes who was in attendance, topics discussed, decisions made, votes taken, etc. So, now that we all what meeting minutes are, who’s required to keep them?
If you’re operating as an S Corporation or a C Corporation, you’re required to keep meeting minutes in most states. The states that don’t require meeting minutes as a part of corporate records are Delaware, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. Now, you should consult your own legal counsel to confirm that nothing has changed within your state laws, but my understanding at the time of this writing is that those states do not require meeting minutes.
If you’re operating under the banner of a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC.), you are never required to keep minutes. However, it is always good to keep them even if it isn’t required to protect your company. As an LLC, you are required to file an annual report with the state to update them on ownership and contact information.
To keep effective meeting minutes, you should always include some basic information before getting into the meat of the meeting. The basics that should be included are as follows:
As you can see, this is fundamental information. There’s nothing complicated about it. And if you’re saying, “Justin, that’s great. But what about practicality,” Well, let’s take a look at how to keep effective meeting minutes in your own company.
When it comes to recording your organization’s meeting minutes, there are some practical guidelines to follow. You want to be as efficient and effective as possible because things can move quickly. Here are some general rules for keeping effective meeting minutes:
These are just a few of the ways that you can ensure you’re keeping effective meeting minutes. Hopefully, you’re beginning to realize that this doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. Be thorough in your notes, ensuring that you’ve recorded all of the pertinent information.
Once you’ve converted your notes into a completed document, what do you do with them? Archive them. You don’t need to file them with the state or anything like that. So, keep them with your other company records. As I suggested earlier, you would do well to use cloud storage for this. You’ll want to keep these records on hand for about 7 years, although some industries may require a little longer.
If you still don’t feel comfortable with keeping meeting minutes, don’t worry. We have an easy-to-use template that you can download.
Friends, I know that life is hard. We all experience that from time to time. But life is good. Trying to record effective meeting minutes while also actively participating in the meeting can be frustrating. But it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the purpose of the meeting minutes and what needs to be recorded, you can keep them financially simple.
If you have questions about today’s topic or any ways that we help small business owners like yourself, reach out to us. The Financially Simple team is ready to meet with you and discuss how we can work together to grow the value of your business.