Roles and Responsibilities of a Singapore Company Secretary

Staff Writer

April 25, 2023

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Why Hire a Company Secretary?

Besides assisting the company with regular day-to-day operations, corporate secretaries are often requirements in business incorporation, particularly for partnerships and limited liability companies. The company secretary mainly does administrative tasks, and assists the directors of the company. 

Hiring a corporate secretary will ease the work from the directors, and will enable the company to have a sole representative overseeing the compliance and operational tasks of the company. Corporate secretaries are essential to any business, especially as the business grows into a corporation. 

Requirements for a Corporate Secretary

Company secretaries, also called corporate secretaries, are responsible for a number of operational and compliance tasks around the company, ensuring that the company meets requirements set by respective authorities. However, companies cannot simply hire anyone as the corporate secretary. Here are the requirements to hire a secretary in Singapore:

  • The company secretary must be a resident of Singapore;
  • The sole director of the company cannot be the company secretary;
  • If there are two or more directors in the company, then one of the directors can take on the tasks of the company secretary.

As a Singaporean resident, the hired company secretary must be a Singaporean citizen, an EntrePass holder, or a Singapore Permanent Resident. There may be more than one corporate secretary in a company, but there must be at least one secretary who is a Singaporean resident whose usual place of residence is in Singapore. 

Becoming a corporate secretary is not an easy task, and the person must be able to take on big responsibilities on behalf of the directors, and the company as a whole. Thus, a corporate secretary must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Previously the company secretary of a private company for at least three years before becoming the appointed secretary of a public company;
  • A public accountant, or a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Company Accountants, or the Association of International Accountants in Singapore;
  • A member of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators;
  • A qualified person as stated in the Legal Profession Act.

Every company applying for incorporation must register with at least one corporate secretary that meets the requirements to get approvals from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The company will have to hire a corporate secretary within 6 months of incorporation to comply with the requirements set for businesses in Singapore.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Company Secretary in Singapore

As previously mentioned, the roles and responsibilities of the company secretary include ensuring that the business meets its corporate compliance requirements. However, the Singapore Companies Act has no set definition for the roles and responsibilities of a corporate secretary in Singapore.

According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), however, the company director oversees the legal obligations of the company, while the corporate secretary may also be held liable in case the company does not comply with the laws and regulations set for the company, according to the nature of its business. 

For instance, while the company director is responsible for ensuring that the company abides by the law, and meets the requirements set by ACRA, the company secretary is responsible for assisting the director in doing so. Ignoring the non-compliance of the company is the part of the company secretary. 

The company secretary is responsible for overseeing the administrative tasks of the company, and must bring any issues of non-compliance to the company directors. Failure to do so may make the secretary liable for any legal issues arising from negligence.

Hire the Right People

Corporate secretaries do more than just assist directors and upper management with their day-to-day duties. It is essential for any company to hire someone who is qualified enough to tackle corporate secretarial duties to ensure that the company operates efficiently, smoothly, and without any issues arising from compliance. 

Hire the right corporate secretary through WealthBridge, and ease the incorporation process as our team handles the tasks for you. Ensure your company is headed in the right direction, and start your business the right way when you partner with us for all your corporate service needs!

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