Once you've got your business off to a great start, there are still other things you'll need to pay attention to. At the end of your fiscal year, you probably need to plan for and conduct an annual meeting for your business. It’s a busy time getting your financial paperwork together for the end of the year. And it's even busier for many small business owners who have to put their personal taxes together as well. One thing to remember is that along with preparing your corporate minutes and corporate resolutions, you also need to conduct an annual meeting.

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, annual stockholder meeting or 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.

Next Steps

If you are thinking of starting a business or already started your business and want to make sure your annual meeting documents are in order, let's set up a quick Legal Strategy Session to discuss the process and what documents would be best tailored for your company.

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