board of directors

In the context of a corporation a board of directors is a group of people, selected by the shareholders, who make the major decisions for the company. The exact responsibilities of the board are governed by the company’s articles of incorporation. That said, the board is generally responsible for choosing the corporate officers, selling shares of the company, distributing dividends, and responding to merger and takeover offers. The board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the shareholders. Additionally, every public corporation is legally required to elect a board of directors. Private companies are not under the same obligation; however, they also tend to elect a board. 

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]