Business start-ups registered in Singapore must appoint a company secretary within 6 months from the date of incorporation. As far as compliance matters are concerned, a company secretary plays a pivotal role by ensuring that no violation occurs as they can have serious consequences with the governing authorities. But a company secretary also performs important multidimensional roles to provide the empowerment a new company needs to succeed in its business operation.
Duties most company secretaries are responsible for include:
- Board & committee meetings
- Minutes of Meetings
- Annual General Meeting of Shareholders
- Corporate Records
- Advisor to Directors
- Implementation of Directors’ Decisions
- Issuing New Shares, Stock Transfers & Dividends
- Securities Market Listings & Compliance with Listing Standards
- Compliance with Business Laws
- Liaising with Auditors, Lawyers, Bankers as and when required
Company Secretary Consultancy Services
For a new company, having a professional, experienced and dedicated company secretary who knows exactly what to do will prevent effectively the following list of slip-ups that will certainly impede the smooth running of a new business operation from happening.
- Failure to create a business resolution: Any business resolution is considered invalid if the proper documentation fails to be acknowledged by ACRA.
- Forgetting a critical step to validate a business change: Not arranging a General Meeting to acknowledge a new company shareholder, for example, renders the change void in the court of law.
- Incorrect year-end reports: Incorrect year-end reports lead to penalties from the authorities with regard to taxes, and also compromise maximising tax benefits.
- Non-compliance to company law: Failure to advise company stakeholders with regard to relevant business laws leads to invalid or penalisable business decisions.
- Records that are not properly managed: Poorly maintained records, such as statutory registers, including important documents proving company ownership and record of members, lead to confusion and possible fines or jail-term.
VentureHaven, a Singapore company secretary service provider, provides annual company secretary services starting from S$300. Here are the criteria and qualifications a company secretary from company secretary consultancy services will possess:
- At least 18 years of age
- Citizen or PR or S/Entre Pass Holder
- Not the sole director or shareholder of a company
- For a public company:
- Been a Company Secretary at least 3 of the 5 years before appointment
- Qualified person under the Legal Profession Act
- Public Accountant registered under the Accountants Act
- Member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries Singapore
- Member of the Association of International Accountants (Singapore Branch)
- Member of the Institute of Company Accountants, Singapore
Qualifications and Skills:
- Legal Knowledge: to ensure the company is meeting legal oblications set forth by ACRA or other authorities
- Attention to Detail: to ensure clarity and prevent errors in all sorts of communication and circulated materials within and without the company
- Social and Interpersonal Skills: to effectively communicate and liaise, even mediate, between different stakeholders
- Note-taking and Record-keeping: to meticulously document and maintain all meeting minutes and crucial company documents
- Multitasking Skills and Creativity: to juggle smoothly between different priorities and deliver jobs on time
- Planning and Agenda-setting Skills: to effectively keep track of schedules and due dates, and implement timely solutions when necessary
- Financial Analytical Skills: to help supervise share allotments and analyse financial reports and tax assessments