What Is an Annual General Meeting & How Can You Run One?


What Is an Annual General Meeting & How Can You Run One?

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is a mandatory yearly gathering held by companies and organisations to conduct various important business matters and engage with their stakeholders or members. It is a formal meeting where attendees have the opportunity to participate, ask questions, and vote on specific issues related to the governance and performance of the company.

What happens at an annual general meeting?

During an AGM, several key activities take place. To start, a senior member of staff will report on the financial performance over the past 12 months. This will include:

  • Financial statements
  • Operational achievements
  • Key wins
  • Updates on strategies

Positives are always applauded at AGMs and are often displayed on notice boards for attendees to look at in more detail before and after. However, it is worth remembering that these meetings also serve as a platform for stakeholders and employees to raise concerns, ask questions, and engage with senior management staff and directors. This fosters transparency, accountability, and two-way communication between the company, its stakeholders and employees.

Additionally, important decisions are often discussed and shared during an annual general meeting. Votes and polls can be held on items such as:

  • Electing board members
  • Appointing auditors
  • Authorising actions
  • Amending company policies
  • Approving dividends

The last major key aspect of an AGM is the chance to discuss the future. This often includes a financial outlook, goals for the next year, technology, recruitment, sustainability, and risk management.

Running your first AGM

Have you been invited to run your first AGM? Just like doing anything for the first time, it can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Here are some steps to help you prepare and conduct a successful annual general meeting:

Plan and prepare

Set a date, time, and location for the AGM well in advance. Ensure that the venue can accommodate the expected number of attendees. Prepare an agenda that covers all necessary items, such as financial reports, resolutions, and elections. Share the agenda with all attendees before the meeting.

Notify stakeholders and members

Send formal invites to all stakeholders or members (if applicable), informing them about the AGM and providing relevant details. Include the agenda, date, time, location, and any documents they need to review beforehand.

Gather and prepare required documents

Collect and organise all necessary documents, including financial statements, reports, resolutions, and any proposals submitted. Ensure these documents are readily available for distribution during the AGM.

Present reports and finances

Begin the AGM by presenting reports on the organisation's financial performance, operational highlights, and achievements. This is best done via digitally, typically via a projection screen so that everyone can see. Share key financial statements, such as the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Be prepared to answer questions or provide clarity.

Address proposals and resolutions

Allocate time during the AGM to discuss and vote on shareholder or member proposals and resolutions. Clearly explain each proposal, allow for debate, and conduct a transparent voting process. Ensure that all voting procedures are fair and in accordance with your organisation's rules.

Encourage participation

Provide opportunities for stakeholders or members to ask questions and share their views. Create an open and inclusive environment that encourages active participation. Address all questions and concerns with transparency and respect.

Maintain minutes

Assign someone to take detailed minutes of the AGM. Record key discussions, decisions, voting outcomes, and any other important information. These minutes will serve as an official record of the meeting and can be referred to later.

Follow-up actions

After the AGM, distribute the approved minutes to all attendees and stakeholders. Ensure that any actions or resolutions passed during the meeting are implemented promptly. Comply with any reporting or filing requirements with relevant authorities.

Remember, every company has different requirements and procedures for their AGMs. Whilst you may have handled many in a previous role, it is worth checking if your company or organisation has any specific requirements or procedures for their AGMs.

Business AGM Meeting Around Projector Screen

Annual general meeting agenda template

With so much information to absorb regarding AGMs, below is a free meeting agenda so you can see how one might look. You can even use this if you’re involved in planning one.

It's important to note that the specific agenda items and their order may need to be changed based on the company you work for. This is a template and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Opening and welcome

  • Call the meeting to order
  • Introduce the chairperson and other key individuals
  • Confirm quorum and voting procedures
  • Approval of Previous AGM Minutes:

Present the minutes of the previous AGM for approval

  • Allow for any corrections or amendments
  • Seek a motion and vote for approval

Chairperson's report

  • Present a report on the organisation's performance since the last AGM
  • Highlight key achievements, challenges, and milestones
  • Address any significant developments or future plans

Financial report

  • Present the company’s financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement
  • Discuss financial performance, revenue, expenses, and profitability
  • Provide an overview of any significant financial transactions or events

Auditor's report

  • Present the report of the external auditor, if applicable
  • Review the auditor's opinion on the financial statements and any significant findings or recommendations

Appointment or reappointment of auditors

  • Discuss and seek approval for the appointment or reappointment of auditors for the upcoming year
  • Consider any recommendations from the board or audit committee

Resolutions and voting

  • Present and discuss resolutions to be voted upon by shareholders or members
  • Allow for questions, debate, and discussion on each resolution
  • Conduct voting and record the outcomes

Election of directors or other personnel

  • If applicable, conduct the election of directors or officers
  • Present nominations, allow for candidate speeches or introductions
  • Conduct voting and announce the results

Any other business

  • Provide an opportunity for shareholders or members to raise any other business or topics for discussion
  • Address any additional items that were not included in the agenda


  • Conclude the AGM meeting
  • Provide any closing remarks or announcements
  • Set the date and time for the next AGM, if applicable

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