The dictionary meaning of minute is a note or memorandum to assist the memory. In corporate affaris is known as recording the proceedings of meeting. In other words, the written record of discussions held and decisions made at a meeting are called minutes. The objective of writing minutes is to preserve a concise and accurate official record of the discussion held in the meeting.
According to Rajendra Pal & Korlahalli, “Minutes are the official records of the proceedings of meeting.”
Quible and others defined, “Minutes are the written redord of important decisions and actions taken at a meeting.”
Finally, we can conclude that minutes are official records of business transacted in a meeting. The secretary of the company generally writes minutes. It is a legal requirement for public limited companies to keep minutes of the board meetings, committee meetings and annual general meetings.
Principles of Drafting Minutes or considering factors in drafting minutes
Minutes are the written and formal documents of discussion in the meeting. Therefore, the minutes should be drafted methodically and carefully. The followings are some of the guiding principles or factors in drafting minutes.
- Appropriate heading: The minutes of the meeting must contain the name of the meeting styled as “Minutes of the annual general meeting”, Minutes of the extra-ordinary general meeting”, Minutes of the Board Meeting” etc.
- Name and address of the company: The minutes should clearly specify the name and address of the company concerned.
- Mentioning the date, time and place of the meeting: The minutes must contain the date, time and place of holding meeting.
- Mentioning the serial number of the meeting: Title of the minutes is sometimes written by mentioning the serial number of the meeting.
- Mentioning the names of the participants along with the name of the chairperson: A well-drafted minute also contain the names and signatures of the participants along with the name and signature of the chairperson.
- Maintaining subject wise serial numbers: Every individual issue of the minute must be written in the separate paragraph and every paragraph of such nature should be numbered serially.
- Clear record of nay date and figure: If it is necessary to mention any date or figure such as the reference number and date of any letter in minutes, it must be state distinguishably and specifically.
- Details about special resolution: if any special resolution is passed in the meeting, the motion and the name of the person who raised the motion should be mentioned in the minutes in details.
- Taking notes at the time when meeting is going on: The chairperson of the meeting should note down important aspects during meeting session. It helps in drafting the minutes immediately after closing the meeting session.
- Drafting minutes immediately after closing the meeting: The minutes should be drafted immediately after closing the meeting session. It prevents error or omission of any issue from the minutes.
- Using simple language: The minutes should be drafted by using simple, definite, unambiguous and clear cut language so that every one regardless of their level of education can understand it.
- Taking chairman’s approval and signature: When minutes are drafted by the secretary, it should be checked and approved by the chairperson before finalizing. After writing the final draft the minutes should be signed by the chairperson.