Minutes of board meetings are an essential part of governance. They’re not only an record of the discussions and decisions but also serve as a legal document in the event of a lawsuit. It’s important to make sure that the minutes are right. A inadequately written set can leave gaps which could result in liability. It’s easy to create the body section that’s clear, concise and precise using the appropriate tools.

In general your minutes shouldn’t provide opinions or a view of what happened. Be sure to document all major decisions and actions and any follow-up tasks that have been agreed upon. Also, ensure that you capture all attendance details and a list of nonvoting attendees (such as consultants or guests) in your board minutes, including whether they’re there in person, by telephone, or online.

Also, make sure to include a brief description of the time, date, and the location of the meeting. It’s beneficial to include the type of meeting, too–whether it’s a regular, annual or special board meeting. It’s also helpful to include information about the date or time of the meeting, as well as how it was called, or whether there was a consensus. You should not record the number of people who voted for or against a motion, however, you should note the manner in which the motion was considered and the result of that vote. In certain instances the board may be required to discuss sensitive or confidential subjects in closed session. These discussions will be recorded.