Is a Foreigner Allowed to Serve as a Company Secretary?
Every company which has been incorporated in Singapore is legally obligated to select a person who is to serve as its company secretary. Foreigners who plan to do so must either be a permanent resident or a holder of an accepted work visa.
Company secretaries play extremely important roles within any company. Every action taken by a company secretary while carrying out the duties of the position has an impact on the company itself as well as its corporate and financial prospects. Therefore, a company secretary is among the most influential and important employees within any company. Company secretaries are also the only people who are legally permitted to carry out certain functions.
Singapore company laws state that every company in the country must employ a company secretary. The law which makes a specific mention of this requirement is Section 171 (1AA) of the Singapore Companies Act. Every company which has been incorporated in Singapore must appoint a person who is to serve as the company secretary within six months of the company’s incorporation.
It might not always be easy to select a suitable person who will serve as the company secretary of a Singapore company. Perhaps you are a company owner in Singapore yourself and require assistance for the selection of a person to this important position. Therefore, to ease your troubles regarding this matter, we at Paul Hype Page & Co provide services which will enable your company to employ a person who will serve as the company secretary of your company. The person whom we select will be a person who is appropriately qualified, competent, and compliant with all business laws which are in force in Singapore today.
Identity of Singapore Company Secretaries
There are certain legal requirements pertaining to the identity of people who are allowed to be the company secretary of a Singapore-based company. One such
requirement is that the company secretary of a Singapore company is required to be a legal resident of Singapore. The phrase “legal resident of Singapore” in official parlance refers to a person who is either a permanent resident of Singapore, a citizen of Singapore, or a person who holds one of the following work visas: the EntrePass, the Employment Pass, or the S Pass.
Every company secretary is also required to be 18 years old or older. If the company in question is a public company, its company secretary must possess at least one of the necessary qualifications. Among these qualifications is that of being a qualified person under the Legal Profession Act. A company secretary of a Singapore company is also required to be a member of a certified organization such as the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA) or the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA). These organizations have received official recognition from the government of Singapore for this purpose.
Foreigners Serving as a Company Secretary
It is legally permissible for a foreigner to serve as the company secretary of a Singapore-based company. However, such may only be the case under specific circumstances. If the foreigner in question is a permanent resident of Singapore, the foreigner is allowed to be a company secretary in Singapore. With regard to work visas, any foreigner who owns an S Pass, Employment Pass, or EntrePass is also granted the privilege of being allowed to serve as the company secretary of a Singapore company. However, this also means that any foreigner who is neither a permanent resident of Singapore nor a holder of any of the work visas which have been mentioned is barred from becoming a company secretary. Similarly, any foreigner who holds a Singapore work visa which is not any of those which provide permission for one to be a company secretary is prohibited from taking such a position.
Incidentally, should you happen to be a foreigner who is interested in obtaining an Employment Pass, we are able to be of assistance. We will work with you throughout the entire process while also contacting the Ministry of Manpower as well as other relevant authorities whenever necessary so that you will be able to receive this important visa.