I go to a lot of board meetings. As a result, I’ve reviewed a lot of board meeting minutes. In general, the philosophy among most VC-backed companies – promulgated by the law firms for these companies – is to keep the board minutes “light.” They should cover the substance of the meeting and have any specific votes, option grants, or board level issues documented, but they should not contain extensive details about the presentations giving in the board meeting.
I regularly get asked for “sample board meeting minutes”, especially among newly funded companies that are just starting to have board meetings and might not have their outside counsel present at the meeting (although most outside counsel’s that are credible and used to working with early stage companies will attend board meetings at no charge – just ask as part of your initial interview process with the firm – it’s very useful to them to be there so they can stay up to speed on what is happening at the company.) Following is a template for a sample set of board meeting minutes.
[INSERT NAME OF COMPANY]
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
[Insert Date of Board Meeting]
A meeting of the Board of Directors (the “Board”) of [Insert name of company], a [Insert state of incorporation] corporation (the “Company”), was held on [Insert date of board meeting] ([Insert time zone—i.e. Mountain Daylight Time]) at the offices of the Company.
[Insert names of directors present]
Also Present Were:
[Insert names of other people (mgmt., etc.) present]
[Insert names of directors absent]
[Insert names of legal counsel present]
NOTE: It’s generally good to note next to the above listing if the attendee(s) participated via telephone (otherwise it’s assumed they participated in person at the above referenced location]
Call to Order
[Insert name of CEO or board chair] called the meeting to order at [Insert start time of meeting] ([Insert time zone—i.e. Mountain Daylight Time]) and [Insert name of secretary] recorded the minutes. A quorum of directors was present, and the meeting, having been duly convened, was ready to proceed with business.
[Insert name of CEO] reviewed the agenda and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Next, [Insert name of CEO] discussed the current status of the company and its progress. A number of questions were asked and extensive discussion ensued.
Sales & Business Development Update
[Insert name] next provided an update on the overall sales progress and sales pipeline of the Company. He also presented the status of business development discussions.
* [Insert name] joined the meeting*
[Insert name] provided a comprehensive update on the Company’s financial plan and forecast. [Insert name] also reviewed the Company’s principal financial operating metrics. Discussion ensued.
The Board next discussed the timing and creation of the 2007 Operating Plan.
Approval of Option Grants
[Insert name] presented to the Board a list of proposed options to be granted to Company employees [and advisors], for approval, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted, the option grants were approved as presented in Exhibit A.
Approval of Minutes
[Insert name] presented to the Board the minutes of the [insert date of previous board meeting] meeting of the Board for approval, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted, the minutes were approved as presented.
*Management was excused from the meeting *
The Board next discussed a number of strategic topics. Questions were asked and answered.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned at [Insert time of adjournment] ([Insert time zone—i.e. Mountain Daylight Time]).
[Insert name of secretary], Recording Secretary
NOTE: Create (and delete) additional headings and sections above as necessary to capture the major agenda items of the board meeting.
NOTE: If attendees join after the meeting start time or leave before the meeting adjournment, it’s preferable to note when they join and leave the meeting as indicated above by the asterisked notations.