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Hero Board Meeting Agenda
Startup Guides Published:  Jan 16, 2024 5 min read
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How to create a board meeting agenda – expert guide for startups

Kaylin S.
Copywriter
Kaylin Sullivan

Copywriter

Anthony Rose
Expert contributor
Anthony Rose

Co-Founder and CEO

Board meetings are an important legal requirement for running a company. They’re a platform for strategic planning and making decisions. To run an effective board meeting, you need a well-structured agenda to guide discussions and make sure all topics are covered.

In this article, we’ll guide you through how to write a board meeting agenda.

To learn more about how to run a board meeting, read How to run a brilliant board meeting for a startup.

Article contents:

– Video: expert insights on startup boards and board meetings
– What a board meeting agenda is
– Why you need an agenda
– What to discuss at a board meeting
– How to write an agenda for a board meeting
– What to include in the agenda
– Who should write the agenda
– Appendix: Startup board resources
– Talk to an expert

Video: expert insights on startup boards and board meetings

Get insider insights from a board member and founder – SeedLegals co-founder and CEO, Anthony Rose, shares his thoughts on how to run a board and board meetings 👇

What a board meeting agenda is

A board meeting agenda is a document that outlines the topics and issues to discuss during a board meeting. See it as a roadmap for the meeting, helping to keep discussions focused, efficient, and in line with your company’s strategic goals.

As well as outlining the topics, a board meeting agenda also guides the flow of the meeting and allocates time to each point of discussion, to help you stay on track.

Why you need an agenda

A well-crafted agenda helps you get the most out of your valuable time. It ensures that you cover everything that needs to be discussed and make the decisions that need to be made. It helps you run effective board meetings and cultivate:

Efficiency: the agenda ensures that time is used wisely and you address key topics without getting sidetracked. It helps participants prepare and contributes to a more streamlined and efficient meeting.

Accountability: clearly outlined agenda items sent out ahead of time ensure that your board members are ready for the meeting and are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

Strategic focus: a well-crafted agenda helps maintain strategic focus by prioritising key topics and giving your board the opportunity to align on the company’s direction.

An agenda is an important part of helping your board prepare for the meeting. Prepare the agenda ahead of time and send it out with your board pack before the meeting, along with the invite so everyone can come prepared.

Top tip: Make sure that for each agenda point, you discuss the essentials and don’t waste time updating people on what they already know.

What to discuss at a board meeting

What you discuss at a board meeting will vary based on the stage of the company, its goals, and current challenges. However, here are some common topics that are typically covered in startup board meetings:

  • Financial performance
  • Strategic planning
  • Fundraising, if applicable
  • Operational updates
  • Sales and marketing
  • Key performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Risk management
  • Talent and team
  • Investor relations
  • Legal and compliance
  • Customer feedback
  • Technology and innovation
  • Exit strategy
  • Review of previous action items

How to write a board meeting agenda

To create your agenda, follow these steps 👇

Ask for input from board members
Before compiling your agenda items, make sure to consult the board to understand what needs to be discussed.

Identify and prioritise key topics for discussion
Decide on the agenda items you want to discuss. What you choose will depend on your current business needs and your preferred approach to board meetings. Some founders like to only discuss the minimum obligations while others like to discuss strategic goals.

 

It’s important that founders stay in control of board decisions. That’s why you need to carefully select the topics you discuss at your board meeting. You can use your board meetings to simply cover the minimum obligations, or you can use them to discuss bigger picture plans with your board – but remember that’s something you can also do outside of your board meetings. If you discuss bigger picture plans openly during the board meeting, you run the risk of a decision being made that you weren’t necessarily prepared to make.

Anthony Rose

Co-founder & CEO,

SeedLegals

Include regular agenda items
Start with routine items such as approval of previous minutes, financial updates, and operational reports. Include a standing item for strategic updates to ensure continuous alignment with the business goals.

Review action items
Include a section to review action items from the previous meeting. Ensure accountability by tracking progress on assigned tasks.

Allocate time wisely
Assign appropriate time slots for each agenda item. Be realistic about time constraints and avoid overloading the agenda.

Invite relevant speakers
If specific topics require input from experts or team members, invite them to present during the meeting.

If the board would like to keep some issues confidential, you can run executive meetings separately with those who need to participate. You can make a record of the meeting but keep the records confidential.

Nergis Oprescu

Legal Counsel,

SeedLegals

Give legal and compliance updates
It’s important to stay informed about changes in regulations, mitigate risks, and align business strategies with legal requirements.

Incorporating legal and compliance updates into board meetings ensures the company navigates legal complexities proactively, fostering a culture of compliance necessary for long-term success.

Nergis Oprescu

Legal Counsel,

SeedLegals

Use a template
The most efficient way to write your board meeting agenda is to use a template. Make sure the layout is clean and simple.

Include supporting documents
Make sure to include any supporting documents you need for the meeting in a board pack, which you’ll send out with your agenda.

A board pack is a compilation of all the meeting materials a board member receives in advance of the board meeting. Read more about what to include in your board pack in our post How to run a brilliant board meeting for a startup.

Share the agenda and supporting documents ahead of time

Send the agenda out ahead of time, along with all supporting documents in your board pack, so everyone can prepare and know what to expect.

Board management software

Simplify your board tasks

In just a few clicks, you can:

✅ Hold a board meeting
✅ Add or remove a director
✅ Create annual confirmation statement

Learn more

What to include in a board meeting agenda

Make sure your agenda includes these basic details 👇

  • Date and time of the meeting
  • Meeting location (you can name your video conferencing platform if it’s online/hybrid)
  • Attendee names
  • Agenda items (ie list each topic of discussion)
  • Documents you’ll refer to

Who should write a board meeting agenda

A company founder or board chairperson should write the board meeting agenda. The goal is to have someone with a comprehensive understanding of the company’s objectives, compliance requirements, and the current business environment take the lead in crafting a well-structured and focused board meeting agenda.

Board meeting agenda example

Here’s an example of a simple board meeting agenda 👇 You can create one in just a few clicks on SeedLegals, using our template.

Board Meeting Agenda Example Page 0001 (1)

Appendix: Startup board resources

💼Board meetings: what they are and why you need to hold them
📝How to run a brilliant board meeting for a startup
🏄‍♀️Startup boards explained and tips to manage your board

Talk to an expert

Want to know how we can simplify your board management, startup funding legals, share option schemes and more? Book a call with one of our experts and we’ll talk you through how we can help.


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