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President, Treasurer, And Secretary: The Role Of Officers Within A Corporation

Various Officers Assume Different Roles Within A Business—Here’s A Brief Description Of Who They Are And What They Do.

What are officers?

The officers’ conduct the day-to-day business of a corporation and put the actions and policies established by the board of directors into action. If you choose to form a corporation, you will likely name the officers of your business in the corporate bylaws. Before we talk about officers, though, there are a few terms that should be clarified because you’ll hear them when talking about the makeup of people and positions within a corporation.

Shareholders:

Shareholders can also be referred to as stockholders. The shareholders are the people (or other legal entities) who own shares of stock in the corporation. Essentially they own the corporation. They have the right to vote on major issues within the corporation, which includes the right to elect the board of directors. A small business might have just one shareholder—the owner/founder of the business.

Board of Directors:

This is the governing body of the corporation. It is made of up individuals who have been chosen by the shareholders. The board’s job is to establish policies and oversee the actions of officers. They make their decisions at director’s meetings or by written consent.

The officers of a corporation

When you form a corporation, these are some of the corporate officer positions elected by the board of directors:

  • CEO or president: This is the guy or gal in charge, and they oversee the daily operations of the company. They are also responsible for delegating tasks to other officers and even employees. They can be responsible for signing important documents such as major contracts, legal documents, stock certificates, and the like.
  • Treasurer or Chief Financial Officer: This person is essentially in charge of funds within the business. If you operate a smaller corporation, then this person deals with all financial aspects including payroll and billing. In a larger corporation, the CFO would do more oversight of financial operations within the company.
  • Secretary: The secretary of your business keeps corporate records and prepares minutes of the board meetings as well as shareholder meetings. Recording minutes of a meeting means that the secretary takes note of who is present, the names of directors, and other formalities in a document.

Other officer positions

Of course depending on the size and operations of your corporation, there are other officers and positions (such as Chief Information Officer, Chief Investment Officer, or Chief Operating Officer), but those noted above are some of the most common.  In smaller corporations, one person can even assume multiple officer positions.

Return to Types of Corporations

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®