Are you preparing for your next business annual meeting and wondering how to make the process productive while meeting the legal requirements for your business entity? While not every organization is required to have an annual meeting, almost all businesses can benefit from taking a big-picture look at where they stand.
Creating an annual meeting agenda that keeps things moving and makes sure no important topics are missed is one of the keys to running a successful meeting and keeping your business licenses up to date.
Why Should You Have an Annual Meeting?
Annual meetings are mandatory for businesses that are organized as corporations. Some states require them for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) of a certain size. At the annual meeting important topics are discussed and future needs are identified. A good agenda for an annual meeting provides a roadmap to help ensure that all legal requirements are met.
- Corporation Annual Meetings. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires publicly traded companies to hold annual meetings that cover financials, elections, and future goals. State laws and corporation bylaws may also apply.
- Limited Liability Company Annual Meetings. In most cases LLCs are not legally required to hold an annual meeting, but it is a best practice that offers similar benefits to these smaller companies while helping them prepare for required annual or biannual reports or statements of information.
Creating an Annual Meeting Agenda for Your Company
One of the best ways to make a comprehensive meeting agenda for your annual meeting is to start with a prepared annual report. This should contain financial records for the year and sections about significant challenges faced and how they were resolved and outline topics that will require action in the coming year.
Elections may need to be held or promotions announced. Your meeting agenda should be designed to foster open communication and transparency and keep members fully informed and engaged with the past, present, and future of your business.
Items to Include in the Agenda for an Annual Meeting
- Electing company officials. Corporations will need to elect or re-elect their board of directors, LLCs will elect or appoint members, and both should document current job titles and contact information for each person. The addition of biographical profiles for candidates and new leaders to the agenda will help introduce them and their appropriate roles to the attendees. Any elections must comply with the bylaws of your organization. Any leadership changes including promotions should be discussed early in the annual meeting agenda.
- Administrative reporting. The agenda should specifically call out the need to review the duties and responsibilities of team members and outline any changes occurring or expected in the coming year. Changes to company policies, protocols, and staffing should be addressed. Changes to physical locations or equipment purchases are also a good item to include here, as well as confirming that required business filings such as a corporation’s annual report or an LLC’s statement of information are ready or have been filed.
- Affirming company values and culture. Include an agenda item to discuss the mission of the company and any changes to overall direction. Sustainability, community involvement, company culture, and core values should be affirmed and any concerns heard by management. If things are changing, this is the perfect time to discuss those changes with the team.
- Financial reporting and planning. Present annual financial reports to establish the financial health of the businesses. These should include sales, client base, profits, expenses, and cash flow information. Using these reports, foster discussion about cost-savings initiatives, dividend payout expectations, salary increases, and bonus opportunities for the company. Then outline plans to improve your company’s financial health in the coming year.
- Future strategy and goals. Set aside time on the agenda to discuss high level strategy and future goals for your organization. List and discuss ongoing projects, their value to the business, and their expected dates of completion. Discuss short-term and long-term goals. Gather ideas and concerns and set positive expectations in a collaborative and inclusive way to set the best tone for the company’s future.
Annual Meetings Help Keep Your Business in Good Standing
Productive and positive annual meetings depend not only on a complete and effective agenda that keeps things on track, but also on timely filing of required business documents and reports with the state and federal authorities. As part of your annual agenda, you will want to provide documentation that all required business filings have been completed on time.
One of the best ways to complete your state-required filings and make sure that all of your permits are renewed and up to date is to use FastFilings’ authorized online filing portal. For a small fee, your seller’s permits, sales tax licenses, wholesale licenses, statements of information, and other essential company filings can be completed in one place, with error checking and expedited electronic processing.
Step confidently into your next annual business meeting with a complete agenda and a completed set of business document filings ready to go before your board of directors or members council. There’s no faster way to finish the filings than with FastFilings’ online service!