wikiHow to Form a Board of Directors

Forming a board of directors can be a powerful driver for your company's success. Determining the right size, scope, and experience of the board is critical to a successful outcome. The following is a guide on how to form a board of directors.


  1. Image titled Form a Board of Directors Step 1
    Find experts that fill areas your company is currently lacking in.
    • If your company is planning a major acquisition in the future, find people who have significant merger and acquisition experience.
    • If your company has plans to expand internationally, find people who have international business experience.
    • Experts to consider include executives of other companies that are similar to, but not in direct competition with, your company.
  2. Image titled Form a Board of Directors Step 2
    Recruit experts with board experience.
    • People who have served on other boards will know what it takes to effectively work on a board of directors.
    • You will not need to provide much training for experienced board members, which will ultimately save you time.
  3. Image titled Form a Board of Directors Step 3
    Manage the size of the board of directors.
    • Keep the board small and focused.
    • A good number of people to start with is 5.
    • Always keep an odd number of board members to avoid deadlocks.
    • Ensure that at least a portion of the board is clearly independent. In other words, they should not be related to or under the direct influence of any prominent members of the company.
  4. Image titled Form a Board of Directors Step 4
    Select people who can fully participate.
    • Select people who can dedicate a significant amount of time to your company.
    • Select people who live close enough to the company to meet face-to-face for important or unexpected issues.
  5. Image titled Form a Board of Directors Step 5
    Divide the board of directors.
    • Form focused committees for critical areas of the company.
    • Committees to form immediately include compensation and audit committees.
    • In the long run, other committees should be established. These include acquisition and governance committees.
    • People with relevant experience should be chosen to head each committee. For example, a person with accounting experience should be the head of the audit committee.


  • Forming a board of directors will expose you to assessments and criticisms that you may not have heard before. Be open to them, as the feedback of your board of directors will allow your company to set better goals and achieve them.
  • As your board members are likely to have busy schedules, be sure to value their time. Meetings should start and end on time and only cover matters of strategic importance.
  • Use email and/or other forms of communication to provide updates to your board regarding normal issues that do not require a meeting.
  • While CEOs are tempting choices to staff your company's board of directors, other types of executives should also be considered. This is especially pertinent if your company is small or mid-sized, as such individuals are more likely to join the board of directors in such a company.

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Categories: Leadership and Mentoring