Company secretaries are among a Singapore company’s most important employees. A competent company secretary can make a world of difference in determining how successful a company is. Company secretary services can be very helpful in this regard by helping the company fulfil its legal obligations.

Company Secretaries in Singapore

In any company in Singapore, one of the most important people within the company’s organizational structure is the company secretary. Despite the similarity of their respective position titles, company secretaries do not perform the same tasks as secretaries. Secretaries are typically tasked with responsibilities such being the in between person when it comes to the company communication, filing, and diary management.

On the other hand, the role of a company secretary involves statutory and legal requirements related to incorporated and registered companies based in Singapore. Due to the scope of their responsibilities, many business owners, including a large number of foreigners who intend to invest in Singapore companies, will seek out company secretary services.

Service of a Company Secretary

Company secretary services include all services with which most company secretaries can provide their clients. These clients are usually incorporated companies.

In Singapore, company secretaries are defined as people who is responsible for managing the company’s legal data, procedural matters, and other important records. A company secretary is required to be a resident of Singapore. In this instance, “resident” is defined as one who is a citizen or permanent resident of Singapore or a holder of an EntrePass, Employment Pass, or S Pass. The Companies Act mandates that every Singapore company must appoint a company secretary. This is true for public companies and private companies alike. The company secretary of a public company must fulfill any one of certain criteria before being appointed. Among these criteria are having work experience as the company secretary of a company for a minimum of three of the five years immediately preceding appointment, being a chartered accountant registered under the Accountants Act, or being a member of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA), among several others. The decision about who is to be appointed to the position is to be made by company’s board of directors.

An institution, rather than a person, may also be appointed to the position of company secretary. The company’s director may refer to the company’s articles of association to obtain more information about hiring anyone to this position. Many companies prefer to use company secretary services because of the complexities involving statutory and governance regulations. This is especially true of company transactions and procedures. Despite the best efforts of many company secretaries, many companies understand that in general, it can be more effective to utilize company secretary services for such tasks.

Duties and Responsibilities of Company Secretaries

The duties and responsibilities of company secretaries and company secretary services are the same. Among the most important of these duties is the updating and maintaining of important meeting records. They must also keep a close watch over records related to the company’s operations. Such records are related to the company’s legal requirements. These records include details about shares, company registration details, shareholder agreements, directors’ resolutions, and annual financial statements that were originally passed during board meetings. Another of their duties is ensuring that the company operates in accordance with its constitution. This may necessitate the occasional addressing of any changes or amendments made to the constitution. Company secretaries are also to notify the company’s shareholders about topics including rights issues, rates and payment of dividends, and general shareholder relations, as well as the annual filings of audited accounts, annual returns, and when and how annual general meetings are to be held. Shareholders must be informed of any changes related to any of these areas. Company secretaries must also be able to provide any necessary legal advice.

Disadvantage of Being a Company Secretary

Although the company secretary or firm providing company secretary services is just one part of a company, the role filled by this person or firm is critical to the company’s success. Errors made by company secretaries can lead to the company’s experiencing calamitous consequences. Among the most dangerous errors that could be made include failing to provide up-to-date information to managers, directors, and shareholders; updating directors and supplying shareholder information via online methods but neglecting to pass a resolution in hard-copy form; and not calling for an extraordinary general meeting after the passage of any resolution. Such errors may lead to substantial fines being imposed on the company.

A company can plan to avoid such grievous errors by seeking high-quality company secretary services. It is recommended that the company does so before its own incorporation. A successful company secretary will be able to help the company by dealing with all company matters in the best way possible. This person will also undertake all necessary responsibilities at the required level. Thus, many companies will contact professional legal, tax, financial and accounting consulting services and those associated with such services. This will allow any necessary matters to be handled by them. The company’s standard of corporate governance will greatly benefit from this.

Paul Hype Page & Co has extensive experience in offering corporate secretary services. We will do our best to offer you the highest standard of services possible. Our services span many regions of the world and are accessible in four different continents. We are also able to tailor our services to suit the needs of your company.