How To Engage The Right Corporate Secretary For The Job
In simple terms, a corporate secretary is someone who is in charge of ensuring regulatory compliance and corporate governance either by making minutes or records of the Board’s actions amid a meeting reflect the legal exercise of such fiduciary matters.
With help from a corporate secretary, it makes sure your business adheres to any rules and regulations regarding companies, safeguard you against penalties, fines, and lawsuits. Similarly, they keep you updated about any new and existing legal compliance requirements, in other words, means that any legal and administrative affairs concerning your organisation can be easily managed under docket.
As such, seeing how important it is for your business to have a professional corporate secretary by your side – you need to make your selection carefully. Read on below to learn how to get yourself acquainted with the right company secretary.
Understand what a corporate secretary in Singapore does
A company’s responsibilities can be separated into three distinct categories: administration, advisory, and fiduciary.
- Once hired, a company secretary becomes ACRA’s main point of contact for your company. They become responsible for keeping company registers updated, keeping documents filed with the relevant authorities, and preparing the minutes of the company’s meetings, specifically, the EGMs (Extraordinary General Meetings) and the AGMs (Annual General Meetings).
- The company secretary also gives advice to the directors and other high-level executives. This includes sharing practical advice and other information, especially when it comes to legal compliance.
- It is also part of the company secretary’s duties to keep shareholders in the loop, giving them financial statements and making sure that they can help steer the company towards making sound financial decisions, especially during the AGM.
Ascertain their eligibility
As the founder or director, your main focus should be to grow the company, not managing secretarial duties. Hence, why you should approach a professional for company secretary services in Singapore.
A good way to know if your company and the secretary are a good fit for each other is to ask for prior experience. Case in point, company secretaries with experience handling startups can help your startup company execute all of the necessary paperwork correctly without the need for handholding or clarification.
In fact, to ensure that you’ve engaged with the right corporate secretary, here are the requirements that should be met, as according to Section 171 (1AA) of the Companies Act:
- Have to be a member of the Institute of International Accountants
- Have to be a member of the Institute of Company Accountants Singapore
- Have to be a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
- Have to be a member of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
- Must be registered under Cap 2 of the Accountants Act
- Have to be qualified under Cap 161 of the Legal Profession Act
- Required to have undergone practice for a minimum of three of the previous five years prior to the new appointment.
Ensure they are transparent with their costs
When working with a corporate secretary, make sure that you are aware of any and all costs associated. This is especially true if you are paying the company secretary for his or her services on an annual basis – it’s important that you have an itemised list of included services.
Furthermore, you should also know what’s not included in what you’re already paying for. This way, you’ll know how much it’ll cost you whenever something that’s not included is billed to you.
Transparency, efficiency, and reliability are all important qualities to consider when looking for a corporate secretary in Singapore.
Hence, to ensure that you’ve brought in the right company secretary for your organisation – you could start with these few tips to help make your selection along the way. On the other hand, you could also approach us, OneStop Professional Services, for consultation or advice regarding the decision-making process.