A company secretary in Singapore is required to be appointed within six months of the company’s incorporation, as per requirement of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore. If a company has only a sole director, that person is not eligible to act as company secretary. Any failure to comply in this respect will likely be met with penalties from the relevant authority.
Company Secretary in Singapore
Many startups do not realise the significance of a company secretary in Singapore when they first register new company. In reality, company secretaries perform critical functions within a business establishment, such as staying on top of all statutory regulations and evolving tax laws, and liaising between shareholders and calculating shares and dividends of every stakeholder.
More specifically, core responsibilities of a company secretary in Singapore include:
- Scheduling, organising and maintaining the necessary agenda for stakeholder meetings
- Ensuring that the chairman and board members are discharging their responsibilities promptly in accordance to all applicable rules and regulations
- Preparing minutes of meeting and resolutions for board meetings
- Monitoring amendments in relevant legislation and taking suitable actions, and ensuring that the company complies with all statutory obligations
- Maintaining effective communication between all stakeholders and senior management in the company
- Distributing company’s annual reports, interim statements and accounts among stakeholders
- Liaising with key third parties, such as auditors, lawyers, tax advisers, bankers and shareholders with regard to board governance
The company secretary is also responsible for the record keeping of incorporation papers, director’s resolutions, shareholder agreements and annual financial statements, as well as the various company registers. ACRA holds the company secretary responsible for annual returns and the updating of company’s director, name and other details that undergo changes.
For all the above reasons, it is important to hire the right person who has been trained to handle these complex administrative, operational, legal and financial duties capably and diligently as your company secretary in Singapore when you register new company. Even though private limited companies need not appoint a professionally qualified secretary (for example, lawyers, accountants and chartered secretaries), and the basic requirements are not hard to meet: of-age natural person locally resident in Singapore, do not appoint a less than qualified person for the position out of convenience or to save cost. Some of the skillsets a company secretary must possess include:
- Understanding of the regulatory environment and its trends.
- Organisational knowledge management
- Effective communication
- Ability to resolve issues arising out of conflicting interests
- Aptitude for detail and planning