Minute Book Management and Legal Entity Software | MinuteBox

Corporate Law Minute Book Management

How to Manage Minute Books for Corporate Law

MinuteBox.com, the entity management platform trusted by corporate lawyers, is the only secure cloud that centralizes minute books and data in one centralized place, making storage, annual compliance and transactions easier than ever.

MinuteBox.com, the entity management platform trusted by corporate lawyers is the only secure cloud that centralizes minute books and data in one centralized place, making minute book storage, corporate data and entity management easier than ever.

If you’re a corporate lawyer, no doubt you have spent time in the “minute book room.” Every law firm organizes minute books a little differently, but there’s usually one commonality – no one is really ever happy with their current solution. If you’re like most law firms, you probably store you minute books in stacks, a dedicated minute book library or, if you’re really suffering from the minute book woes, scattered amongst various offices and cabinents.

In either case, the status quo no longer works.

It’s bad enough that most lawyers and law firms find managing physical minute books a huge pain, but managing the data from the minute books can be even as big of a nightmare. When minute book collections begin to get larger than 50 or so entities under management, many law firms use some form of database, excel file or legal entity management software to track all the relevant corporate data that can be found in the physical books.

For example, if a client calls and asks you “Can you confirm the names and appointment dates of the directors of my corporation?” you don’t want to have to truck on down to the minute book room on the 32nd floor, scour the shelves for the relevant book and then comb through the various sections and pages just to find and confirm some basic information. For these reasons, most law firms keep this sort of information, like who the directors, officers and shareholders are in a database that is easy to access.

However, if a client calls and asks for a copy of the Articles of Incorporation to send to the bank, there’s effectively no choice but to go find the minute book, scan in the Articles and email them over. That task alone can take lots of time–and while you might be able to bill and recover for some of that time, most lawyers will agree, something as simple as finding out the directors and their respective appointment dates can take way longer than the amount that can reasonably be billed and recovered by a law firm. So, for most law firms and lawyers, minute book management is not only a chore, it’s a money loser.

Effective minute book management can reduce many of the downsides that come with managing corporate minute books and, if you go about this process the right way, you might even be able to turn minute book management from a cost center to a revenue generator.

Here’s what you need to do to properly manage minute books in a corporate law firm.

Step 1: Centralize all your minute books into one system

Proper and effective minute book management starts with a centralized strategy. It’s no good to be running around to the minute book room each time a client has as simple question and even worse to be going to the database and then to the minute book room to confirm the data is accurate. Not only is that time you will be unlikely to recover from your clients, but it is duplicative work and wasteful in and of itself.

list of centralized minute books

Most law firms are turning digital because it accomplishes a number of ancillary benefits beyond centralization.

These are the other benefits of maintaining digital minute books:

Those are just a few of the additional benefits to managing your corporate legal practice with digital minute books. Once your minute books are centralized and digital, you’ll no longer find youself heading down to the 32nd floor just to visit the minute book room, wasting valuable time. Moreover, you’ll easily and quickly be able to find answers to simple questions on behalf of clients and get back to higher value legal work.

How to digitize a minute book?

Digitizing one minute book is easy, digitizing 100 is nearly impossible. If you’re managing a small collection of minute books, like one to ten, digitizing them yourselves should not be particularly difficult. A desktop scanner like the ScanSnap ix1500 is a perfect companion for digitizing a few minute books.

Digitizing one minute book is easy, digitizing 100 is nearly impossible. If you’re managing a small collection of minute books, like one to ten, digitizing them yourselves should not be particularly difficult. A desktop scanner like the ScanSnap ix1500 is a perfect companion for digitizing a few minute books.

scansnap scanner for minute books

When you scan your minute book collection with the ScanSnap ix1500 make sure to enable OCR or “Optical Character Recognition” to ensure the pages you scan can be searched by your computer.

A really good rule of thumb is to ensure no paper document gets filed and no paper document gets sent out until it has been scanned, digitized and gone through a process of OCR. This will ensure you always have a proper backup of your corporate records.

If you have a minute book collection of more than 10 books, you might want to consider hiring a service to scan and digitize your entire minute book collection.

The benefits of a scanning service are plenty, but they include the following:

Getting your minute books scanned and digitized is just one part of centralization. Next, you’ll want to look at the system you are currently using to manage all the minute book data and make sure it can go into the same system that is storing your digital minute books.

Once you have your physical books digitized onto a central system, you’ll want to make sure you put all the entity data you are managing into the same system. If you don’t, you’ll still be stuck working with and keeping up multiple legal entity management systems.

Most importantly, make sure the solution you are choosing is cloud-based. Why cloud legal entity management? Well, here are the benefits of a cloud-based legal entity management solution:

Of course, cloud is the most important aspect of a legal entity management or global entity management platform, but it’s not the only reason you want to use specialized software for corporate entity management. Having everything in one place is really the key. When you client calls to verify information about their legal entity, having to look and verify in only one place will save you tons of time. Even better, if the solution you choose to use lets you share corporate data with your clients then they can check and verify the information they need without having to wait on you. This leads to happier and better served clients.

If you’re already using an existing system to manage your legal entities, like excel, or a specialized on-premises entity management database software like FastCo, Enact, CorpLink, Emergent, Corporate Focus, GEMS or others, you should make sure that whatever cloud minute book software you decide to use can easily instantly migrate without data loss or manual data entry.

entity management database with corporate data

If you choose a solution that does not offer instant, free and accurate migration, you’ll be stuck doing manual data entry. If you have a significant amount of entities under management, this could take months or years and will be subject to lots of human error, exposing your firm to liability.

With all of your minute book data centralized in one database you’ll be able to continue maintaining your minute books for annual compliance and other regulatory needs with ease. A proper global entity management solution will let you do things like quickly generate annual compliance documents, accurately manage capitalization tables, generate company ownership charts and quickly lookup and find information with ease.

What’s next?

So, how do you best manage minute books for corporate law? It all starts by making sure your collection is digitized and centralized on a secure online platform, preferably one designed with minute books and corporate records in mind. Make sure all your legal entities are available in one centralized place, digitize all minute book data to ensure it is backed up and never lost and use a tool to help make sharing with clients, accountants and other counsel much easier. Next, centralize entity data in the same system and if you’re already using entity mangement software, migrate all your data to the same solution. Use legal entity management software that works for you. Use these steps and you will find it much easier to manage your corporate law practice.

Of course, if you need any assistance scanning, digitizing or getting your minute books onto a secure legal entity management cloud we are always happy to help and provide advice, just get in touch!

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