Acceptance of Corporate Documents
Unlike the first meeting of the organization, which can be an opportunity for brainstorming and general planning, the first meeting of the board of directors represents the beginning of your organization as a legal entity.
It is also the time when your newly seated board of directors needs to formally accept the documents necessary for incorporation, elect the officers, agree to move forward with the application for federal nonprofit status, open a bank account, and authorize a method for paying expenses. Additional housekeeping decisions will need to be made, but at the initial meeting, you need to authorize the most important details to be open for business.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you are not only establishing an organization for the present, but you are establishing a legal corporation that will survive past your personal involvement.
Once the board has formally accepted the incorporation document and initial set of by-laws that will be sent to the state office responsible for incorporation, delegate the responsibility for assembling all the other documents you will want to file. Although these forms will not require formal board action, having one member of the board oversee the process will make certain it all gets done.
It becomes even more important that each document you helped write meets all of your needs as well as every need mandated by the group, the state, and the IRS, if you plan to pursue federal tax exemption.
What is meant by formally accepting documents?
Formally refers to the fact that it will take place at an official meeting of your board, with minutes being taken and any votes or agreements by consensus recorded. Informal agreements are fine for casual groups, but incorporation requires more formality.