If you own a company in Singapore, you are required to have a company secretary. Whether your company is a big corporation or just a startup company, it is a key requirement to appoint one company secretary.
What are the requirements to be a Company Secretary in Singapore?
-A Singapore citizen, a permanent resident or a person who has been issued an employment pass or dependent pass can act as a company secretary
-Has been a company secretary of a company for at least three of the five years immediately before his appointment as company secretary of the public company
-A qualified person under the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161)
-A public accountant registered under the Accountants Act (Cap. 2)
-A member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
-A member of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
-A member of the Association of International Accountants (Singapore Branch)
-A member of the Institute of Company Accountants, Singapore
A director of the company who is a Singapore resident can act as the company secretary, only if there is more then one director in the company. According to ACRA (The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority), every company must appoint a company secretary within six months of the date of its incorporation. If the company secretary resigns from the company, the company has six months’ time to replace a new secretary.
What does a company secretary in Singapore do?
-Maintain the company statutory registers and records
-Arrange for shareholder and director meetings
-Lodge and file in time all necessary documents required by law
-Provide administrative support in preparation of meetings
-Provide comprehensive legal and administrative support to the board
-Assist in the implementation of corporate strategies by ensuring that the board’s decisions are properly carried out and communicated
-Ensure that the company meets all its legal obligations
-Stay updated on relevant developments and changes in statutory and regulatory obligations
-Communicate adequately with shareholders
The company secretary also ensures all relevant statutory obligations are met, the business interest of the company is always protected, good corporate governance is practiced, and is present regularly at the company’s registered office address. The company secretary also serves as an advisor to the director(s) and provide the support needed as well as keeping them updated with timely information for their board meetings. They also regularly communicate with the company shareholders to keep their interests and disperse financial statements so that the shareholders can take part in the decision making at the company’s Annual General Meeting.
Why do you need a company secretary?
First of all, it is to comply with the regulation of ACRA and also according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the company must define and specify the role of the company secretary. The secretary is responsible to be well informed of the latest developments of the legislation with respect to the company. In other words, your company secretary is your go-to person when it comes to resolution and information whether it is general administration, legal, human resource, financial or accounting and even general management. It is important to know the competency and qualifications of your secretary before hiring one.