Singaporean Companies should appoint a secretary within six months of incorporation. However, what specifically is the job of a secretary and what can they bring to the table? Knowing the critical position, a company secretary plays in your business necessitates hiring a trustworthy individual rather than just anybody as a matter of legal enforcement.
Corporate Secretary Responsibilities
The Secretary’s role is described in the Company Constitution (or Memorandum and Article of Association for companies incorporated before 2016). It includes the proper maintenance of the company’s statutory registers, keeping tabs of Directors and Members meetings and resolutions, and submitting a notice of a shift in the company to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”) or other government bodies.
A Secretary’s position in today’s business climate should not be limited to administration and compliance with local regulations. In certain firms, the Company Secretary also serves as the Board’s legal counsel, accountant and business advisor.
Hiring a Corporate Secretary Reduces Director Workloads
A director of a company should not try to do everything on their own. In reality, even if an organization has a large number of directors, doing secretarial work on its own is more than just an administrative function. They can perform basic secretarial tasks regularly, but they would spend a lot of time and energy on tasks that are not part of their core role. This is particularly true if they are unfamiliar with a corporate secretary’s non-regular duties.
Check their experience in handling startups
If you are a start-up, you should make sure that the corporate secretary is familiar with the problems that commonly occur in the start-up environment, since the company secretary would be responsible for processing and correctly executing all of the resulting paperwork.
Start-ups in Southeast Asia often develop quickly and go through many rounds of funding in their early years. This means you can be dealing with many investors and various types of stock. You may also consider an employee share option plan. (ESOP)
Pick someone who moves at your speed
Many businesses do use paper and physical signatures to carry out company resolutions, which can result in more running around to set up meetings, courier costs and processing delays. Check to see if the business is a part of the 21st century and use technology to minimize costs and speed things up, such as digital signatures, which are legally recognised in Singapore.
Look for hidden costs
Are ACRA fees included in the package? Are you being charged every time you pick up the phone to speak with someone? Many providers have a lengthy a-la-carte menu, which can add up over time. Similarly, if you are paying a fixed annual charge, make sure you understand what’s included and what’s not in your year’s operation.