The role of a company secretary in Singapore is in line with Section 171 of the Companies Act, which mandates all companies in Singapore to appoint a company secretary who serves as an officer, advisor, and fiduciary to the company, its board, and its shareholders. They aid in helping the company stay compliant with regulations while ensuring that the company’s best interests are followed.
In this article, we will explore the role of a company secretary in company formation in Singapore and provide an overview of this position’s requirements, duties, and responsibilities. We will cover the legal requirements for appointment, the tasks and obligations of the company secretary during the formation process, and the importance of having a qualified and experienced company secretary.
Company Secretary Qualifications
Incorporating a company in Singapore requires the appointment of a company secretary. The role of the corporate secretary is crucial in ensuring compliance with the Companies Act 1967 and other regulatory requirements. Companies must ensure that the role of the company secretary must be filled within six months of incorporation and must not remain vacant for more than six months.
To select a suitable individual to full the role of the company secretary, the individual must meet the following requirements:
- Must be a Singapore Citizen, Permanent Resident, or an EntrePass holder with a local residential address in Singapore.
- Must have knowledge and experience in company regulations and compliance, with at least three (3) years experience in secretarial practice or have completed an approved course in company secretarial practice.
- Cannot be the sole director of the company.
- Must not have any debarment order on record with the registrar.
- Must be a member of a recognized professional body, such as:
- The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore,
- The Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators,
- The Association of International Accountants,
- The Institute of Company Accountants, Singapore; or a,
- Qualified person under the Legal Profession Act or a public accountant registered under the Accountants Act.
The Appointment of a Company Secretary
The director of a private limited company has the legal obligation to appoint a company secretary within six months of incorporation. The director may be able to take this responsibility, but only if there is another resident director.
The appointment of an individual to the role of a company secretary is a formal process that requires the approval of the company directors. The directors can vote on the appointment of a company secretary through a director or board resolution. Once the role of the company secretary is filled via a resolution, they must complete form 45B, known as consent to act as a secretary. The last step in the appointment process is to file the appointment of the company secretary with the Accounting and Corporate Authority (ACRA) through BizFile.
From the date of incorporation, the company secretary must be accessible at the firm’s registered office or reachable via a representative by phone or other means of immediate communication within business hours.
What happens if your company is required by the government to change your company secretary?
Changing to a new secretarial services provider is easy and can be done relatively quickly, depending on your chosen service provider. With so many to choose from in Singapore, it’s only a matter of what you specifically need from your provider and what they can offer.
An Easy Guide to Transfer Your Corporate Secretary Service Provider
Planning a change of company secretary? Simplify your corporate secretary transfer with our easy guide. Partner up with Lanturn for a hassle-free transition.
What is a Company Secretary?
The role of a company secretary to a company is indispensable. The company secretary ensures that a company operates effectively and complies with the legal requirements in Singapore. There are three broad categories of the role of a company secretary and their responsibilities: to the company, to the company directors, and the shareholders.
- As an advisor to the directors
One role of a company secretary is to guide directors to ensure they fulfil their statutory duties and comply with Singapore company regulations. The secretary prepares and sends out critical information to the directors so that board meetings can be productive. They also ensure that the company appropriately inducts new directors in line with its constitution and the Companies Act of Singapore.
- As the first point of contact for shareholders
The company secretary is a liaison between the shareholders and the board of directors. They maintain regular contact with the shareholders to ensure that the board hears their interests.
- As the principal compliance officer for the company
The company secretary must ensure that the company follows and complies with Singapore law. Included in the role of a company secretary is to help guide the company on proper corporate governance and ethical business practices. Additionally, the company secretary must ensure that all relevant statutory obligations are met and that the company’s business interest is always protected.
- As a fiduciary to the company
The company secretary must always act in the best interest of the company. The individual with the role of a company secretary must not have interests that would be in direct conflict with the company’s interests. They are also expected to carry out their duties with care and diligence, not reveal confidential information or trade secrets of the company, and not make a secret profit through the company.
Duties of a Company Secretary
The role of a company secretary carries with it a wide range of responsibilities to ensure that the business complies with Singaporean company law. Listed below are the duties of the company secretary:
Core Duties of a Company Secretary
- Ensure statutory compliance with ACRA, including filing of annual accounts, maintaining necessary registers, and complying with regulatory requirements.
- Organise board meetings and facilitate the decision making process.
- Arrange for Annual General Meetings in compliance with the Companies Act and company constitution.
- Ensure compliance with Memorandum & Articles of Association (MAA).
- Supervise share allotments, issues and transfers, and handle matters related to shareholders.
- Act as a communication channel for non-executive company directors.
- Assist in implementing good corporate governance practices.
- Ensure safe custody and proper use of the company seal.
- Supervise establishment of overseas operations according to proper procedures and laws.
- Ensure best interests of the company in acquisitions, restructuring, and mergers.
Additional Duties of a Company Secretary
- Legal, accounting/finance, human resource, general administration or general management duties, as outlined in the employment contract, depending on the individual’s qualifications and experience.
Easy Guide to The Singapore Company Registration Process
Discover Singapore’s company registration process, from the minimum requirements, compliance insights, and registration timeline in our comprehensive guide.
Corporate Secretarial Services in Singapore
Why Engage Corporate Secretarial Services?
One of the main benefits of engaging corporate secretarial services in Singapore is that it frees up time and resources for other core business functions. By outsourcing the management of the company’s regulatory compliance and secretarial responsibilities, the management team can focus on running the business and achieving its objectives.
Another benefit of engaging corporate secretarial services is the expertise and experience of the service provider. Corporate secretarial service providers have a deep understanding of the regulatory framework and best practices, which helps to minimise the risk of non-compliance and potential fines or penalties. Furthermore, they have the experience and knowledge to provide practical solutions to complex legal and regulatory issues.
Foreign entrepreneurs considering setting up a business in the island nation may benefit from availing of secretarial services in Singapore. Because having a reliable and professional secretarial service can ensure that all company formation processes are carried out smoothly and in compliance with Singaporean laws and regulations.
Lanturn’s Corporate Secretarial Services Available For You!
Are you planning to establish a company in Singapore but need help finding the perfect company secretary to help you navigate the complex compliance requirements in Singapore? Look no further!
With our corporate secretarial services in Singapore, we can help you fill the role of a company secretary for your company while also helping you meet all your compliance needs efficiently and effectively.
Don’t let the hassle of finding a suitable company secretary hold you back from achieving your business goals in Singapore. Trust us to provide unparalleled support and guidance, so you can focus on what truly matters – growing your business.
Our secretarial services in Singapore include the following perks:
- Effortless Corporate Processes – Our cutting-edge platform technology streamlines all processes to minimise the chances of missing important tasks, making changing directors, issuing shares, filing annual returns and staying compliant a breeze.
- Timely Response – Lanturn’s technology allows us to respond to your inquiries reasonably quickly within business hours so that you can get the help you need when you need it.
- Seamless Integration – Our integrated Digital 3.0 technology brings all key workflows together in one place, ensuring no documents or tasks are overlooked.
- Transparent Pricing – As entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand the frustration of hidden charges and surcharges. That’s why we provide predictable pricing for every corporate action, with no surprises included.
Avail of our corporate secretarial services today and take your first step towards success!
Avail of Lanturn’s Corporate Secretary package today!