Properly maintaining corporate records can be critical to your organization's success. Follow these steps.
How to Maintain Corporate Records. Properly maintaining corporate records can be critical to your organization's success. Follow these steps.
Understand What Corporate Records Are
Keep clear, efficient track of corporate decisions through the use of meeting minutes and other notes taken. Corporate records include all important documents relating to your business, from contracts to corporate hiring resolutions to property lease approval forms.
Know that keeping corporate records isn't the chore that it appears to be when you are first starting a corporation. In the future, you will refer to these records to determine company goals, partner input and even to settle in-house disputes over the corporate direction and mission.
Record all major corporate decisions. If you aren't sure, record it. With modern scanning capabilities and off-site paper management, it is fine to have thick, meaty files as records of corporate meetings. A thorough table of contents will save time in the future when the information is needed.
Know When to Record
Record the minutes of annual shareholders' meetings and directors' meetings, even when they take place over a conference call or via the Internet. These tend to be less formal than in-house meetings, but this is often where the best ideas are bandied about.
Know that resolutions, whether those between partners or those decided by the company's employees, are only as strong as the paper they are written on. Verbal agreements have little weight in corporate settings, which is why corporate record keeping is so important.
- Keeping a corporate records guidebook in the office will help anyone designated as records keeper to properly format and index the minutes. When records must be sent off-site, keep copies in the office and in a fireproof, off-site location. The time you spend maintaining a corporate records book will usually depend on the size of the company. Large companies may need to hire an employee specifically to deal with records. Small companies can often get by with spending an hour or so per week updating the records.
- Don't think you don't have time to properly record your corporate decision making. Keeping a well indexed corporate records book can save you time and money, and may save you when faced with litigating in the future. A corporate records book contains confidential information essential to your company. Never take it home or otherwise remove it from the workplace. You don't want to be liable for its loss.