Business minutes of meeting format helps you record the proceedings of a meeting in an organized and efficient manner. Always choose a format that is based on Robert's Rules of Order.

What Are Minutes of the Meeting?

Meeting minutes are the record of a meeting's proceedings; they may pertain to any type of meeting, including a board meeting, corporate staff meeting, shareholders' meeting or an informal committee meeting. Taking and maintaining quick notes of a meeting provides a clear and concise summary of business transacted in the meeting, especially to those who could not attend it.

Whether you are conducting a meeting to make decisions in a large organization or just to assign a staff member with certain responsibilities, you should prepare concise minutes of the meeting. The minutes should record the motions passed in the meeting, so that it serves as a reminder of actions taken by the participating members.

Meeting minutes are an important document that records, in writing, the discussions done and actions taken in a certain meeting, along with the names of the participating members. In many companies, reviewing the minutes of management meetings conducted over a period of time can reveal the history of the company in a fascinating manner.

Typically, the minutes of a meeting contain a summary of the primary discussions and conclusions reached in a point form. You should prepare minutes for any formal meeting conducted at any organizational level.

In most of the organizations, corporate secretary is responsible for organizing company meetings, drafting the minutes of the meeting and distributing meeting notices, agendas and minutes. After the corporate secretary drafts the minutes, the chairperson of the meeting signs the document. The signed minutes are distributed to the members.

How to Take Meeting Minutes in a Productive Manner

  1. Plan the agenda of the meeting. Note down the time allocated for each item in the agenda.
  2. Understand Robert's Rules of Order. Choose a suitable minutes template based on the Robert's Rules of Order, especially if you are following the procedures of a formal meeting.
  3. Check the participants of the meeting as they arrive. This will save you time during the meeting. Note down the names of the members not present in the meeting.
  4. Make sure the meeting makes a clear decision on an agenda item before moving on to a new one. Record the decisions taken for each item in the agenda.
  5. Don't try to cover all the details of the discussion; only note down the essential information. However, don't forget to include the decisions and assignments made in the meeting. This is where a minutes template will be especially helpful in ensuring that you cover every agenda item.
  6. Soon after the meeting is over, use the notes taken during the meeting to prepare minutes in a more presentable form. Keep it brief, objective and concise, without missing any essential information. If you need to include any relevant comment, summarize it. Always try to avoid recording anything which is personal or inflammatory. Make the document as professional as possible.
  7. Don't make the minutes lengthy by quoting the participating members in their own words. You should only record the principal points discussed and concluded in the meeting in a summarized manner.
  8. Minutes are an official record of the decisions taken by an organization. Companies often refer back to them to understand the circumstances leading to a certain decision. So, the main items you should include in the meetings are the decisions taken or deferred, along with the specific reasons.

Business Minutes of Meeting Template

Call to Order

A meeting of _________________ (name of the meeting team, for example, board of directors) was held at (name of the venue) on _____________ (date).

Members Present

Members present included (list out the names of all the members present)

Members Not Present

Members not present included (list out the names of the members not present in the meeting)

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were unanimously approved and distributed.


Include the reports presented and discussed in the meeting.

Unfinished Business

Include any unfinished agenda items under this section. Specify why the item was deferred or decision could not be reached.

New Business

Any new business discussed in the meeting should be outlined here.


List out all the announcements made in the meeting.

Secretary __________________ Date of approval ____________________

If you need help with business minutes of meeting format, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.