The governing body of a corporation. The body with authority to establish corporate policy, appoint executive officers, and make major business and financial decisions.
The board of directors is given almost absolute authority in the governance of a corporation. You often hear about actions taken by the board of directors of publicly traded corporations. Small businesses, even solo businesses, if they are a corporation are required to have a board of directors. It is often beneficial, in small businesses, family businesses, or startups to make the board of directors be comprised of the shareholders in the bylaws. This is always something that can be changed if the corporation needs additional board members, but it is helpful in controlling the compliance of a small startup business who only has shareholders on the board of directors.