Have you ever wondered about the growing demand to outsource corporate secretarial services in Singapore? Any company incorporated in Singapore is required to appoint a company secretary to fulfill a range of duties that ensures it complies with the regulations stipulated by governing bodies such as IRAS and ACRA. According to the Company Act, a failure to meet these requirements could result in fines, penalties or both, imposed by law.
Duties of a company secretary include:
- Maintenance of minute book and statutory register book (Directors, members, managers, secretaries, auditors and share transfers).
- Filing of Annual Return and other records such as interim statements and accounts.
- The organisation of board meetings and Annual General Meetings (AGM).
- Reviewing developments in corporate governance and assisting the directors with respect to their duties and responsibilities.
- Ensure safe custody and proper use of company seal.
The task of corporate secretary can be extremely tedious and hence require someone of competent calibre to accede this task. For private companies, it is possible to appoint any individual residing permanently in Singapore to act as the company secretary. However, many companies opt to outsource corporate secretarial services by hiring a company secretary with a corporate secretarial firm.
Why should companies outsource secretarial services in Singapore?
Appointing the right candidate
Outsourcing your company secretarial service reduces the time and effort for your company to source for the appropriate person for the job. While it is easier for private companies to appoint their own corporate secretary, the criteria are more stringent for public companies. Hence, a corporate secretarial firm ensures a registered filing agent with the right qualifications and experience is assigned to your company to fulfill such a vital role. Secretarial service firms are therefore a popular choice as they are suitable for both local and multinational organisations irrespective of their size.
Dedicated person to handle intricate administrative matters
Statutory regulations can be very complex and ever-changing. For example, tax laws changes almost every budget year, tax and accounting requirements will differ from time to time. A competent corporate secretary must be regularly attentive to such changes to prevent your company from facing troubles of non-compliance. While the role of the corporate secretary can be assumed by an existing employee, having a dedicated person prevents the risk of negligence.
The corporate secretary also takes care of non-routine documentation such as share transfers, declaration of dividend for shareholders. The reduction of paperwork burden helps the management of the company to focus their resources on developing their business.
Advisory service for companies
Corporate secretarial service companies are regularly in touch with developments from governing bodies. Your appointed corporate secretaries have an advantage of greater exposure with secretarial responsibilities and hence able to offer professional advice to companies given their extensive knowledge of the legal and compliance frameworks.
The company secretary also acts as the point of contact between shareholders and the board of directors. As he or she works closely with the board, they are usually responsible for ensuring shareholders’ interests are heard by the board.
Less risk of being penalised
Lack of sufficient knowledge secretarial duties opens up the avenue for mistakes to be made. Having a capable corporate secretary is especially important as the consequences of breaching legislation under regulating bodies such as ACRA and IRAS can be very serious. Failure to file required documents such as annual return, statutory records to respective authorities can result in penalties and fines imposed on the company. Serious compliance mistakes could even lead to the removal of a director from his position, or imprisonment of the secretary. Dedicated company secretarial services ensure the integrity and quality of appointed persons.
Stay compliant with the right corporate secretarial service provider in Singapore
Hiring a company secretary with the right corporate secretarial firm is an important decision for business owners to make. Even though there is extra cost involved, a capable and trustworthy company secretary will go a long way in ensuring the stability of your business. However, it is important for every company to do their due diligence before engaging any corporate service firm. Some criteria to look out for are responsiveness, presence of hidden fees and availability of their management team’s profile.
Ecovis Bizcorp’s fee structure is clearly laid out and competitively priced, making it easier for companies to make their decision. For reliable corporate secretarial services in Singapore, get in touch with us. Ranked the 18th largest international accounting firm in the world with over 7,000 people operating in 78 countries, let Ecovis Bizcorp help you support your business whenever, wherever. Contact us today to find out more.