Under certain circumstances, an organization's meeting minutes represent a legal document that can’t be changed without a vote of the board of directors. Incorrectly amending minutes can result in votes, contracts, hires and other actions taken during the meeting to be voided or cancelled. Use a simple procedure to ensure you amend your minutes correctly.

Determine if the minutes have already been formally approved by a vote of the board of directors, or if they have only been submitted for review to a chairman or executive committee. Draft minutes that have not been voted on by a board can be amended without a board vote.

If the suggested changes are being made to a person or people reviewing the minutes before the minutes go to the full board, suggest the changes you desire. Compare the final suggested wording to the originally submitted minutes. Explain the reason for the changes. If everyone agrees, have a secretary amend the originally submitted, unapproved minutes.

If the suggested changes are being made for minutes not yet approved by the board and at a board meeting, use the following procedure:

Have the chairman make a motion to approve the meeting minutes. Wait for the motion to be seconded. Have the chairman open the matter to discussion. Have the person suggesting the amendment present his reason for the changes. After discussion, have the person suggesting the changes make a motion to amend the minutes and give the exact wording of the suggestions. Wait for the motion to be seconded. Have the chairman close the discussion and call the question, or take the vote. Record the vote, including the names of those in favor, opposed and abstaining.

If the suggested changes are being made for minutes previously approved by the board, follow the same procedure for amending minutes being submitted for board approval the first time.

Have the recording secretary or person taking minutes at the meeting make the changes in the minutes. At the top of the document that includes the date the minutes were originally taken, note that the minutes are now amended minutes. Include the date of the changes and the name of the person amending the minutes.