White Paper

4 Pages
  • 4 Pages

Why Your Privately Owned Company Needs a Board of Directors


Setting up a board of directors is a great way to get outside feedback on many big or small business questions and decisions.

Many of the privately owned companies this author represents seldom, if ever, have Board meetings. When she suggests that they have annual meetings, they ask “What for?” Generally those clients’ owners have given little thought to selecting people to sit on their Board of Directors and making good use of those people. They appoint family, friends, themselves and/or their management to sit on their boards. Yet, a good process for identifying, selecting and preparing outsiders to sit on their Board, in and of itself, can be very helpful to these businesses. Once a useful Board is in place, the company, its owners and managers will understand “what for.”

Learning Objectives

  • Define what directors are supposed to do.
  • Review the duty of loyalty that directors owe the company.
  • Review the value of bringing in outsiders.



Janet B. Fierman

Janet B. Fierman

Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, PA

  • Shareholder at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA
  • 2015 Top Woman Lawyer in Massachusetts; chairman of the Town of Brookline Building Commission; Super Lawyer in area privately owned businesses since 2009
  • Relevant publications “Family Enterprises and Their Real Estate”, chapter in Family Enterprises, How to Build Growth, Family Control and Family Harmony, Richard Narva editor. 2015; “CM at Risk – A New Alternative for Public Construction Projects”, 2009 “Building Defects in Residential Properties: Who is Responsible?” 2008
  • J.D. degree, law review, Boston University School of Law; B.A. degree with honors Swarthmore College; Master of International Affairs, Columbia University School of International Affairs
  • Can be contacted at 617-897-5648 or [email protected]

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