You might ask, how are you supposed to hold a corporate face to face meeting when the entire country is in lockdown? It might seem like a simple situation of using a favorite video conference tool in hopes it does not get hacked on the front end. The thing is, these corporate meetings are much more than a casual get-together; they hold a legal mandate process that will put an entire company/business at risk if the proper rules and guidelines are not followed.
So before you use video chat engines such as google meet, skype, or zoom, you should familiarize yourself with state laws, corporate bylaws, and SEC regulations that hold every business accountable when using such apps. Below here are a few insights that you want to be aware of:
SEC – The SEC issues up-to-date guidelines on the best practical ways to hold an annual corporate meeting in compliance with state law. For instance, corporations that issue stocks have to keep these meetings annually; these meetings need to have notice, publication, procedural, and voting rules. Due to these recent restrictions related to COVID-19, the SEC issued helpful statements on how to comply with these regulations.
Virtual Meetings – All states differ on the validity of virtual meetings. Whether your company’s legal obligation meets the state’s needs also depends on the conditions of incorporation. For instance, New York accepts “hybrid” meetings where parties all join online with an in-person component. In comparison, A state like Delaware allows a virtual meeting with no regulation of an in-person part. All state regulations vary.
Bylaws – You should check corporate bylaws before conducting any virtual meeting to ensure the online communication tool is allowed and to see any notice or regulations that might be required.
Security – With the number of businesses attending these virtual meetings arising, it is not a surprise that these companies have experienced security breaches. When selecting a vendor for your virtual conference, you will need to ensure that it is secure, discussing privileged and confidential information. For instance, you have a room full of stockholders that require this access to the information you want your connection to be secured and protected from any enemies lurking to breach that meeting. Along with this potential threat, it is wise to work with a knowledgeable attorney who can outline the state’s regulations that must be considered to adjust formats of corporate conferences in the reaction due to COVID-19.