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Corporate Bylaws are essentially the "rules" for how a corporation must operate.
Most states require these documents at the beginning of the life of a corporation. Articles of Incorporation are often the very first document filed to begin a new corporate business. The Articles must be filed with the state. Shortly thereafter, however, or around the same time, many corporations put together their Corporate Bylaws. Bylaws are the document that underlies the entire operational structure of a corporation.
Bylaws cover the major aspects of a corporate business: shareholders, directors, officers, and meeting information.
Corporate Bylaws can also be drafted for a non-profit corporation, which contain many of the same provisions except those relating to shareholders.
How to use this document
This document will ask a lot of information about the corporation. Here, the first questions will be about general corporate information, such as the name of the corporation, the type, and the state of incorporation.
Then, the document will ask for additional important details. Questions will be asked about the shareholders' annual meeting, including date, time, agenda and other details. Then, additional questions will be asked about the Board of Directors: questions such as how many directors there will be, information on their own meetings and more.
Finally, a few additional details will be covered about the corporation's financial decisions and seal, among others.
After this document is filled out, it is a good idea to have it printed and then signed by the relevant party, either the Secretary of the corporation (if the Secretary has already been chosen) or an incorporator. Then, ideally, it would be kept on the corporation's file as long as the corporation is in existence.
Corporate Bylaws in the United States are subject to state-specific laws. Most states specify that bylaws should be adopted by the Board. What goes into the Corporate Bylaws is largely the decision of the corporation.
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