Board Minutes - Signing Authorisation
The purpose of these minutes of meetings of the board of directors is to record the proceedings and resolutions taken by the board of a company to approve and appoint an authorised person to sign certain documents on behalf of the company.
What are minutes of meetings of the board?
Minutes of the meetings of the board, or simply “board minutes” are the official notes from any meeting of the board of directors in a company. Whilst it is not necessary for every word to be recorded, the main purpose of the minutes is to record all resolutions, and, depending on the importance of the resolution, the discussions leading to the decision. This particular form of minutes is for the meeting held to approve and appoint an authorised person to sign certain documents on behalf of the company.
When should you use Board Minutes?
Board minutes should be prepared, signed and kept after each board meeting. The minutes should, amongst other things, confirm which board members attended the meeting as well as attendance by any non-board members, the chairperson of the meeting, the place, time and date of the meeting, which resolutions were adopted, how each board member voted in relation to each resolution, and if any board member was restricted from voting due to a conflict of interest.
Even if the company consists of a sole director, formal minutes of the sole director’s deliberations and resolutions should be documented.
As mentioned above, these board minutes should be used to approve and appoint an authorised person to sign certain documents on behalf of the company. If the board is conducting and/or approving other business of the company, other forms of board minutes are available on our platform. You should use board minutes - administrative matters, board minutes - share issue, board minutes - recording share transfer and board minutes - transaction depending on the agenda or purpose of the meeting.
Why are Board Minutes important?
The board of directors are responsible for the management of the company’s affairs. As such, it is important that resolutions and decisions made by the board are properly recorded in the minutes. As mentioned above, the minutes list the board members in attendance, and how they voted (in particular if there were any directors that abstained or recused themselves), allowing readers to ascertain whether proper quorum was established (i.e. if the meeting was properly convened, allowing the board to make formal decisions), and if any board member voted against a resolution.
It is a legal requirement to record the “minutes of all proceedings at meetings of its directors” and to keep such minutes “for at least ten years from the date of the meeting”. Failure to do so could result in every board member being personally liable and fined.
Board minutes are also a form of evidence of active and informed deliberations by the board in relation to business decisions made. This will aid in proving that the directors had considered and satisfied their fiduciary obligations and duties towards the company. Additionally, board minutes serve as a guide as to the structure of board meetings. Whilst the content of the meetings will differ, the general format and proceedings of the meetings should, by and large, remain consistent and board minutes serve as a reminder and guide of the proceedings.
What are the common pitfalls of Board Minutes?
The most common pitfall is probably not having the minutes at all. The boards of smaller or mid-sized private companies often manage and run their companies more informally, thereby occasionally omitting formal board meetings (and so board minutes). As mentioned above, it is a statutory requirement to create and keep board minutes and this responsibility and potential liability is shared by every board member.
The procedure for convening and running a board meeting is usually set out in the company’s articles of association. Therefore it is important that the meeting is called and carried out in accordance with the company’s articles to make sure that the meeting is validly held and that the resolutions were appropriately passed.
It is uncommon to get the format and content of the board minutes wrong, as they should simply reflect what was discussed and resolved at the board meeting. However, it is fairly common to forget to include differing opinions and votes, declaration of any conflict of interest of any board member as well as any restriction on such board members from voting.
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