What is the role of a board director?

When thinking about corporate governance, the first roles that often come to mind are the executive officers like the CEO or CCO. These roles are often responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company, keeping things running smoothly, with other roles reporting to them. However, the board of directors is just as important as they look out for the interests of shareholders. 

The role of a board of directors is to provide company oversight, ensuring that the company is operating in the best interests of shareholders. Decisions that the board of directors is responsible for include hiring or firing company executives, creating policies for dividends and options, and determining executive compensation. The board also generally ensures that the company has the right resources in place to operate effectively. The board of directors is governed by company bylaws, which include the process for selecting directors and what their duties entail.

The board is made of elected members called board directors. The shareholders must elect directors as voting rights are generally included as part of their rights as a shareholder. Shareholders are allowed to vote on board directors during annual shareholder meetings. Generally, board director terms are staggered so that only a few are elected each year, rather than needing to elect an entirely new board whenever elections are required.

Board directors are responsible for upholding the foundational rules outlined in company bylaws. Failure to do so can result in their removal from the board. Actions that may necessitate a director’s removal may include using inside information for personal gain, making deals that are a conflict of interest to shareholders, using their powers as a director for things other than the financial benefit of the company, and other actions that would be detrimental to shareholders.

There are typically three types of directors; inside, outside, and independent directors. Inside directors are typical representatives of company management and shareholders and may include company executives or major shareholders. Outside directors are not involved in the company’s day-to-day decisions, making them more objective and help strike a balance between inside directors but are generally compensated for attending board meetings and carrying out their duties. Independent directors are required to not have any ties to the company; for example, a relative of a company executive would be ineligible for this role.

It is important to ensure that board directors diligently follow the bylaws that govern them to ensure they always are acting in the best interests of the company’s shareholders. The board serves as a check and balance with the company’s management. Shareholders should also take their right to vote seriously, executing whenever possible to ensure that they are protecting their investment in the company. 

 

What is a Minute Book and Why is it Important?

Unlike the name suggests, a minute book is by no means minute. As a business grows, a well-kept minute book becomes an essential record of all important company meetings and allows for the information to be easily accessed when required. With an up-to-date minute book, it makes it easier for companies to keep track of resolutions that affect financial transactions. If the company is ever audited, the minute book provides all the necessary information and references to documents in one place. Let’s break down what exactly you should find in a proper minute book.

 

A minute book should have the company’s certificate of incorporation that serves as proof of the company’s registration. This includes information such as the business’s address, company directors, voting rights, and the company’s purpose. The minute book should also have the company’s bylaws or the rules and regulations that the company and its officers must adhere to. Maintaining a record of bylaws ensures that the company is following the rules they have set to operate by.

 

The minute book typically contains the criteria by which the company’s Board of Directors and officers are chosen. For the Board of Directors, this may include how many are on the board and how long they are to serve.  For officers, it may include which ones are required for the company. In this section of the record, documents can also maintain a record of those who have previously served as a director or officer for the company. Additionally, the minute book should keep track of any meetings or communication with board members.

 

Maintained in the minute book is a record of shares and shareholders. Stock options granted to employees are kept track of, along with the number of shares the company is authorized to sell. Ensuring the company knows the limit to the shares they are legally allowed to sell is very important and is outlined in the certificate of incorporation. Additionally, companies usually maintain a record of any documents they’ve filed in their minute book. Having all documents filed in a common location makes them easier to track and refer back to when needed. Kept in this collection of documents are also various reports, whether they’re annual or special, so that they are easily accessed by authorized parties.

 

While keeping track of all of this information may seem like a daunting task, it is made easier by companies such as KoreConX. Integrated into its all-in-one platform, the KoreConX Minute Book ensures that all company documents are easily located and kept up-to-date. With all documents in a central location, both legal and board members can edit the material directly, without worrying about various versions that might exist offline. This consistency provides companies the ability to better manage their documents, ensuring that everything is accurate and easily accessed when needed.

 

An understanding of what goes into a proper minute book can help your company achieve success and transparency in business. In any situation where essential company documents are necessary, having them readily available cuts down on delays and frustration, making it a smoother process for everyone involved.

Life of a Company

I know, the title is odd. But the goal is to show how a company is formed and what is required for it  to be maintained. What most of the public sees is only related to sales or marketing, never the insides of the corporate structure or management.

The first step each of us make is to incorporate our organization, and we are provided with the company’s papers, also known as theMinute Book”.

The Minute Book
For entrepreneurs, board directors, management, lawyers, auditors, shareholders, and broker dealers, the Minute Book is a lifeline. It is the historical log of all the key decisions and corporate actions made in the company.  Now, some of you will go to your lawyer and get a Minute Book binder, and some will go online and construct your binder.

One very important thing about your company’s Minute Book is that there is only ONE original and you must protect it. At the same time, you are required to provide access to your lawyers, auditors, board directors, shareholders, and anyone who is doing due diligence on your company.

What do you get in your Minute Book:

        • Certificate of incorporation – this provides a unique number to your company
        • The official date of incorporation in your jurisdiction
        • Bylaws: the rules you must follow in operating your company, such as
          • Number of directors
          • How many shares you can issue and class of shares
          • How to conduct board meetings
          • How to conduct shareholders meetings
          • Quorum for board and shareholders meetings

     

  • The Minute Book also has many other tabs for you to insert the ongoing corporate actions in the company.
  • The Minute Book is a living document and it requires that you update it as you are conducting your corporate actions. Those actions need to be recorded in your Minute Book and properly documented, so in the future when you are going through due diligence—for financing, acquisitions, going public, or opening a bank account—this information will be ready so you can move forward.Here is a list of some of the corporate actions your Minute Book needs to have. Some of these corporate actions will be in different sections of your Minute Book depending on how many documents are created.
          • Appointing director
          • Appointing officers
          • Notice of Shareholders Meeting
          • Opening a commercial bank account
          • Appointing auditors
          • Granting options
          • Accepting new shareholders
          • Accepting a loan, debenture, SAFE
          • Name change
          • Merger
          • Acquisition


      For each of these corporate actions, you will need directors’ resolution and/or shareholders’ resolutions and, in some cases, agreements, government filings, and regulatory filings. All of these documents will need to be stored in different sections within the Minute Book.

      This is important to know because as your company grows, more and more of these documents start to add up and the historical tracking becomes even more challenging to maintain.

      If your records are not up to date or properly recorded you will spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get those completed so that you can proceed with a transaction such as raising capital, loan, merger, acquisition, going public, etc.

      Along with managing all the corporate documents, you are also required to manage, report, and track all your shareholders on a timely basis. Depending on which exemption you used, the company would be required to provide quarterly,semi-annual, or annual reporting to your shareholders.

      I know all this might seems overwhelming. Welcome to being an entrepreneur! There are no shortcuts, but there is a way to do it so you are not burdened by all this and end up spending thousands of your hard earn money to fix issues when they emerge.

      As a fellow entrepreneur, I felt this pain. Having all these documents and no central place that everyone (board directors, shareholders, lawyers, auditors, regulators, etc.) could access 24/7, created further strain on my time.

      For a long time, I found apps that did only one thing but were not able to do all that I needed to meet my fiduciary obligations as an officer and director of my company.  It was very frustrating, but finally, in 2015 we launched the world’s first all-in-one platform—yes, an all-in-one platform—that takes care of everything I described above and so much more.

      Once you have a secure and centralized platform to bring your stakeholders, you have the assurance to meet your obligations and focus on growing the business rather than managing paper.

      No more duplicating your efforts – only do it once and KoreConX takes care of the rest.

      As you grow, the platform provides even further enhancement, so if you are a one person company or a company with 500,000 shareholders or more, KoreConX is your all-in-one platform.