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AGM – everything you need to know to run an effective meeting

For sure you already know your business needs to hold an Annual General Meeting every year. 

But what is it exactly?

Your business’ Annual General Meeting or AGM for short, is a meeting where people who own your company or are important to the company (these are the stakeholders), come together to talk about the business.

During the meeting your stakeholders will talk about:

  • how the company is doing
  • what the company did well in the past year
  • what it could do better
  • what they want to do in the future

Everyone gets to share their opinions and ideas, and the leaders of the company get to hear what’s important to everyone. This helps the company to make good decisions and keep everyone happy.

An effective AGM, helps your business to strengthen its relationships with its stakeholders, build trust and confidence, and ensure that it is moving in the right direction.

We’re going to show you how to run a compliant AGM and get the best results.

Overview:

 

What is an AGM?

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a meeting of the members or shareholders of a company, typically held once a year, where they can discuss the company’s business and vote on important matters. 

In Australia, the rules and regulations for AGMs are set by a combination of federal, through The Corporations Act 2001 and state legislation such as the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012 (Vic)

Also, your company’s own governing documents, such as its constitution or articles of association.

It’s not just a meeting to tick the box for compliance. 

Your AGM is a great opportunity for its members to receive a report on the company’s performance and future plans, to elect or re-elect directors and to transact with other business that is brought before the meeting. 

When preparing for your annual general meeting, it’s crucial to understand the legal obligations, including how to register a company in Australia, to ensure compliance with corporate regulations.

Who can attend an AGM?

In Australia, the AGM of a company is typically open to shareholders, directors, and other relevant stakeholders, such as senior management (CEO, CFO, etc), legal and financial advisors and employees. 

The specific eligibility criteria for attending an AGM can vary depending on the type of company and its governing documents.

If you are a proprietary company (i.e., a company that is limited by shares), the right to attend and vote at the AGM is generally limited to shareholders who are recorded as such in the company’s register of members. Shareholders may attend the AGM in person or appoint a proxy to attend on their behalf.

For a public company, the AGM is typically open to all shareholders, as well as other stakeholders such as employees, suppliers, customers, and members of the public who may have an interest in the company’s business. 

When preparing for your company’s annual general meeting, ensure you’re up to speed on all regulatory requirements. Additionally, don’t forget to have your director ID on hand for compliance purposes.

What documentation do you need for an AGM?

This will depend on the laws and regulations that apply to your company, as well as the company’s own internal rules and procedures. 

However, some common documentation that is typically required for an AGM include:

Agenda 

The agenda is the list of items that will be discussed and acted upon at the AGM. This may include reports from the company’s management, election of directors, approval of financial statements, and any proposals for changes to the company’s articles of association.

Financial statements

The company will typically present its financial statements, including the balance sheet and income statement, at the AGM. 

Proxy forms

If a shareholder is unable to attend your AGM in person, they may appoint a proxy to attend and vote on their behalf. The shareholder will need to complete a proxy form to do this.

Minutes

The minutes are a written record of the proceedings of the AGM, including the decisions made and actions taken. The minutes should be kept as a permanent record of the AGM.

Notice of meeting

The notice of meeting is a formal announcement of the AGM and provides details of the date, time, location, and agenda for the meeting. The notice should be sent to all shareholders in accordance with the company’s rules and regulations.

Reports

The company may provide reports on its performance, plans, and other relevant information to shareholders ahead of the AGM. These reports can provide valuable context for the discussions and decisions that will take place at the AGM.

Voting instructions

The AGM may include votes on various proposals, such as the election of directors, approval of financial statements, or changes to the company’s articles of association. 

Voting instructions should be provided to shareholders to explain how they can cast their votes.

Your accountant will be able to help you gather these documents or you can contact Sleek for help here.

 

What is the meeting procedure of an AGM?

What happens at an AGM?

The meeting procedure at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Australia will typically follow a set of formal rules and procedures, which may be specified in the company’s governing documents, such as its constitution or articles of association. 

However, there are some general steps and practices that are commonly followed at AGMs in Australia:

  • Call to order

The AGM is usually called to order by the chairman or another appointed officer of the company. The chairman will usually welcome attendees and introduce any special guests.

  • Approval of the minutes

The minutes of the previous AGM (or any other meetings that have taken place since the last AGM) should be presented for approval. If there are any corrections or amendments to be made, they should be noted and approved.

  1. Reports from management

Your company’s management will typically provide a report on the company’s financial performance, including a presentation of the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Your management may also provide an update on the company’s operations, plans for the future, and any other relevant matters.

  1. Questions from shareholders 

Shareholders will have the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns about your company’s business and performance. The chairman will typically manage the Q&A session and ensure that questions are answered in a timely and fair manner.

  • Resolutions and voting

The AGM may include votes on various proposals, such as the election of directors, approval of financial statements, or changes to the company’s articles of association. 

Shareholders may vote in person or by proxy, and the chairman will typically explain the voting procedures and announce the results of the votes.

  1. Adjournment

The AGM is adjourned once all the business has been completed and all the votes have been taken. 

The chairman will typically announce the adjournment and thank attendees for their participation.

Follow these points and you’ll be able to ensure that your company is being run in the best interests of its members!

 

What’s the Sleek scoop on running an AGM?

We know not all meetings can go to plan or can be effective. 

However, we’ve got some great tips for running a smooth AGM:

  • Plan ahead: Start planning for your AGM well in advance and make sure that you have all of the necessary information, documentation, and support in place to ensure a smooth and successful meeting.
  • Prepare the agenda: Create a clear and comprehensive agenda that covers all of the key items that need to be discussed and decided during the AGM.
  • Provide notice: Give adequate notice to your shareholders and other attendees of the date, time, and location of the AGM, as well as any other relevant information such as the meeting agenda and any proposals or resolutions that will be considered.
  • Communicate clearly: Ensure that all attendees have clear and accurate information about your AGM, and that they understand the purpose and format of the meeting.
  • Follow the rules: Make sure that the AGM is run in accordance with the company’s governing documents, such as its constitution or articles of association, and any relevant laws and regulations.
  • Facilitate discussion: Encourage open and productive discussion among attendees. Ensure that all questions are answered in a fair and transparent manner.
  • Maintain order: The chairperson should maintain order during the meeting, so all attendees can participate and that the meeting proceeds in an orderly fashion.
  • Record the proceedings: Accurately record the proceedings of the meeting, including any decisions that are made and the results of any votes that are taken.
  • Follow up: After the AGM, follow up on any decisions that were made and take any necessary action to implement the outcomes of the meeting.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your AGM runs smoothly, and that attendees leave the meeting feeling satisfied that their interests have been considered and that the company is moving in the right direction.

It’s important your AGM is compliant, so if you have any questions call the Sleek accounting team now 0n +61 2 9100 0480 or shoot us a question using our chatbox.

Some articles you might be interested in reading:

FAQs

The quorum is the minimum number of shareholders or representatives required to be present at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the meeting to be valid and for decisions to be made.

At an Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Australia, a proxy is a person who is appointed by a shareholder to attend and vote on their behalf.

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Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended for general informational purposes only and may not be specifically relevant to everyone’s personal situation. It should not be considered financial advice or a substitute for professional tax or accounting advice. Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and laws can vary. For tailored advice, please consult a qualified professional. Contact Sleek for further information on how we can help you.

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