When you are writing minutes of board meetings, your goal is to make a precise document of what happened at the meeting. This will give you legal protections in the future. It is important to pay attention on the crucial discussions and the decisions taken during the meeting. It is essential to ensure that all the relevant details are recorded. This includes a list of the participants (including those who participated via the phone or online), their roles, and the time the meeting ended.
Your board’s minutes shouldn’t be an account of all the comments and opinions that were made. Your board’s minutes should be neutral and should avoid any inflammatory or savage statements, personal disputes, or political comments. It is also important to eliminate any tangents or idle chats that were discussed, as these may present liability issues should your board be asked to examine the minutes.
Board meetings often include discussions that are not on the agenda. These must be clearly identified as off-the record and not included in the minutes of your meetings. Instead, you should indicate that the board discussed the topic that was not on the agenda, and don’t record any details about the discussion. Also, you should only keep track of the votes cast by board members for or against specific motions, along with the reasons behind them. This provides a clear, unbiased record of the vote and can be useful in the event of legal challenges that might arise in the near future.