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What is a Company Secretary, and why choose one with a digital platform?


What is a Company Secretary, and why choose one with a digital platform?

August 2020

Lanturn Team

Every company registered in Singapore has to abide by local laws and regulations around tax and compliance. The burden to file and meet deadlines falls very squarely on your company secretary and your directors.

The onus is on your corporate secretary to stay up to date with the latest legislative and regulatory changes enacted by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), the primary regulatory body for corporate secretaries and companies in Singapore. Get things wrong and the Singapore government can hold your company secretary and your directors liable for failing to comply with your regulatory obligations.

If you incorporate a company in Singapore, appointing a company secretary within 6 months is mandatory. The company secretary position cannot be left vacant for more than 6 months of the directors may face a penalty of up to $1,000.

Singapore law sees your secretary as one of your company’s key officers, and under Singapore law, they have to be residents in Singapore.


According to The Companies Act, Section 171, any Singapore resident can act as the corporate secretary of a private Singapore company. For public companies, the individual can be appointed if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

Duties and Responsibilities

The responsibility is to keep the company compliant and update the company with the regulatory requirements. Ensuring that the company stays compliant includes:

Maintenance of Statutory Compliance Registers

Your corporate secretary has to create and update company registers to reflect any changes at your company. Common registers include:

  • Register of directors (detailing your company directors)

  • Register of members

  • Register of registrable controllers

  • Register of nominee directors

Legal Compliance

As well as maintaining statutory registers, your company secretary is also in charge of keeping all of your directors and shareholders (and ACRA in many cases) up to date with key events at your company. The main areas you should expect your company secretary to focus on include:

  • Drafting resolutions highlighting key events at your company (such as the appointment of new directors, etc.)

  • Updating ACRA if you change your company name, address, or directors

  • Scheduling and organizing your company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

  • Filing of the company’s annual returns on time

  • Supervise share allotments, issues, and transfers and deal with other matters affecting shareholdings and queries from shareholders

  • Assist the company directors in implementing good corporate governance practices within the company

Penalties if your secretary does not perform their duties

As the compliance and reporting requirements for a corporate secretary are enshrined in Singapore law, failing to adhere to them is a breach of the country’s law, and this can be costly. If your company secretary is not up to scratch and violates Singapore’s Company Act, regulators can remove them, fine them, or even prosecute them. This means it’s very important to appoint someone whom you trust. 

Going Digital

Lanturn is a corporate secretary that runs on a digital platform. Here are the key features that help us stay on top of your compliance responsibilities.

  • Timeline:

    All your key documents are uploaded here. Now you will never lose your accounts, bank statements, incorporation documents, and corporate resolutions.

  • Compliance:

    It clearly lists all your tax, accounting, and other regulatory deadlines.

  • Tasks:

    No more lengthy emails and lost information! It lets you send, respond to, and track requests from start to end.

Changing your secretary

Changing your company secretary to Lanturn is a straightforward and hassle-free process. You ask your existing corporate secretary to sign a resignation letter, your board of directors pass a resolution to approve the change in secretary [and you send a resolution to ACRA indicating your directors have approved the resignation]. This process is often managed by the new corporate secretary, who must also inform the ACRA of their appointment.

Are you thinking of switching your corporate secretarial services? If you are and you’d like to speak with a member of our experienced team, contact us to find a time that works for you.

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