What is the proper meeting minutes format? The short answer is there really isn’t one. As long as you have minutes from your meetings easy read and understood you don’t need to worry about the correct meeting minutes format. That being said I will share the meeting minutes format that I use with my clients.
When working for clients or doing my own minutes I do it very formally. With all the Now, Therefore, Be It:’s, Whereas, Resolveds included.
My philosophy is that rough minutes are better than no minutes at all. So when it come to writing minutes for your business don’t worry too much about the meeting minutes format as much as just getting them done. This is a big step just to start writing minutes. So here is the format we use at Corporate Correct.
I start with what the document is.
“MINUTES OF MEETING OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS”
BUSINESS NAME, INC. (or) LLC
Then state where the meeting was held, what time the meeting was held and who was present and their title. Director, Manager, Officer I also include any observers these can be shareholders who are sitting in or someone who is going to present to the board.
Any time especially with a person who is presenting to the board they will be called in and then asked to leave. Make sure to note when these entrances and exits are made.
Next the formalities are documented. Who is acting as secretary, Reading of previous minutes, motions to approve prior minutes and announcing quorum. This is where the meeting minutes format you choose to go with should be consistent.
This isn’t always possible but I like to keep a structured board meeting so that the agenda order is followed. In small business board meetings and larger businesses many times if the agenda order is going to be changed it is announced in the beginning of the meeting is common when there is an outsider presenting to the board and you need to accommodate their schedule. This won’t change your meeting minutes format though.
As the meeting progresses just follow the agenda and the minutes fill themselves out.
Resolutions are a completely different discussion I would like to mention that after the minutes I do like to have all the resolutions that motions were made on and approved. I also prepare likely resolutions in advance so the board can read the language of the resolution with out trying to come up with the language all on their own. It’s important to note that the board members are the ones coming up with the language as a secretary your just documenting the decisions and events.
That said feel free to offer wording advice just don’t argue with the board.
For small businesses and organizations most people will have no meeting minutes format to follow so feel free to take this format and start using it for your needs. After you have gained some experience writing meeting minutes you and your board can develop your own meeting minutes format.