Annual Meeting TimeIs it annual meeting time for your business? For many businesses, the turn of the calendar brings with it the end of your fiscal year. You’ve hopefully had some time to relax after the holidays, but remember that meeting with your accountant back in December about the end-of-the-year moves that would benefit your business when it comes to taxes. Now that we’ve closed the corporate books on 2020, it’s time to start the year off with a variety of filings. You likely have an end of quarter/year tax payments due in January. Maybe it’s time to renew some corporate insurance policies. And you’ve got to get all those W-2’s and 1099’s out the door this month as well. As you work your way through all of this, don’t forget that it’s probably annual meeting time for your business as well.

What Is An Annual Meeting?

An annual meeting is a yearly meeting of the shareholders of the company. Every company is required to hold one and the place and time of the meeting are defined in the company’s bylaws. Sometimes, it is called a general meeting, an annual stockholder meeting, or an annual shareholder meeting. Your meeting will normally address:

  • Review the company’s annual report;
  • Elections (if necessary) for the board of directors;
  • Review new business projects; and
  • Review and declare dividends.

What’s In An Annual Report?

The business’ annual report will include information about the financial health of the company. It can also include,

  • Statement from the CEO or Chair of the Board of Directors about the state of the business;
  • Discussion of financial matters concerning the shareholders;
  • Financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, etc.); and
  • Review of the past year and the business information for shareholders.

The annual meeting and annual report can have a lot of detail that is of interest to shareholders. In larger companies, these events can make news (Apple, Google, Berkshire Hathaway come to mind). Your business doesn’t need to throw an elaborate party for the meeting, but you do need to make sure it happens.

How Do We Do It?

At annual meeting time, you don’t need to rent out a large ballroom and invite all of your shareholders to attend. It’s more than likely that there are only a few shareholders of your business. And with all of the current travel restrictions, you may not even be able to be in the same room. But there are certain formalities you do need to follow. Generally, you’ll need to prepare a

  • Notice of Annual Meeting
  • Agenda of Items for the Meeting

You’ll need to send these documents to all of the shareholders. Before you go overboard, you should check with your lawyer about what else you need to do. In many instances, you can have your annual meeting on paper. It’s just a matter of signing certain documents and resolutions that waive the need to be in-person for the meeting. Especially if you don’t have any big business to discuss, you can save time and money by doing your meeting on paper.

An annual meeting seems like a daunting prospect if you’ve never done one before. But it doesn’t have to be. A quick meeting with an attorney can help you put a good process in place to handle your yearly annual meetings.

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Next Steps

If you are thinking of starting a business or already started your business and it’s annual meeting time and you want to make sure your annual meeting documents are in order, give me a call and we can sit down to discuss the process and what documents would be best tailored for your company – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.
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