The Role of a Company Secretary in Company Formation
INCORPORATION, CORPORATE SERVICES
The Lanturn Team
Last Updated on June 16, 2023
The role of a company secretary in Singapore is in line with
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.
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.
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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
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.
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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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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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.
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!
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