• November 2, 2020

When it comes to setting up a business in Singapore, There are four major stakeholders that serve as a foundation. These are directors, auditors, shareholders, and the company secretary. While the secretary may have the least liability, they are still one of the most important individuals in your day to day operations. When it comes to startups, the question of hiring a company secretary is a real topic of debate. Many individuals believe that a corporate secretary will eat up their startup money and reduce overall profits. However, this is usually not the case. In reality, company secretarial services play an integral role in many startups and are actually a legal requirement for the Companies Act. Not implementing such requirements can result in several fines and penalties.

Do All Startups Need To Hire A Company Secretary?

If you want to begin operating in Singapore then hiring a secretary is a legal requirement. Though this may sound like a hassle at first, it can actually bring with it several benefits. It is safe to say that the role is both undervalued and often misunderstood by startups. Company secretaries can play a fiduciary role in the business. They can fill out requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs) required by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). The role of the secretary in Singapore is much more than simply answering a phone and scheduling meetings. They will help to manage the everyday business and operational duties, whilst also ensuring all legal and financial duties are being met.

Business Duties Covered By Company Secretarial Services

A company secretary will work as the key link between directors and employees. They will manage everything from the agenda of meetings as well as operate as the point person to ask for relevant information regarding the business. On top of this, they will also take care of all transactions that can influence share distribution and all transactions throughout the business.

Legal Responsibilities Covered By Your Corporate Secretary

In terms of legal and financial duties, your corporate secretary will be the individual who prepares all of your files and account statements in accordance with the Companies Act. They are also expected to ensure that businesses follow the laws and regulations set up by the Memorandum of Association.

So how important are corporate secretarial services in Singapore? In short, though a legal requirement, it would be extremely difficult to operate without a corporate secretary as they’re crucial to your day to day business processes. As a startup, your business will be focused on developing your reputation within a chosen niche. Not having an individual dedicated to completing your secretarial tasks can result in many errors, some of which could result in your business having to shut down.

One of the greatest problems a new business can experience is that entrepreneurs will often not have the time available to complete tasks that fall under the corporate secretary role. Failure to do such tasks can result in fines and additional legal action.

Though many new entrepreneurs believe they have the time to take on such tasks, they usually find very quickly that they significantly underestimated the role of the corporate secretary. Not only are some of the tasks quite complex, but they can take up a great deal of your time. This time can be spent elsewhere focusing on business development and networking. Here are some of the simple issues that you may forget.

Failure to update your business address to the ACRA. When changing your address you must submit all documentation for the ACRA for approval. Failure to do so could result in an invalid resolution.

 Forgetting to arrange a general meeting to acknowledge a new company shareholder. Without such a step, the new shareholder would be void in a court of law.

Failure to date your year-end reports. This particular job is key for any company’s secretarial services and is extremely important. Failure to do this can result in huge problems when it comes to filing your taxes, which will limit the opportunity to maximise tax benefits.

Improper management records. Poorly maintained records are a big red flag for any company. Without company secretarial services to help you manage your records (such as proof of ownership and membership records), confusion and mistakes can quickly arise. While not too bad at first, they can quickly jeopardize the business.

Avoid Such Mistakes by Hiring Corporate Secretarial Services In Singapore

Rather than trying to take on every challenge yourself (as many entrepreneurs try to do), consider enlisting corporate secretarial services for your business. With Singapore becoming more popular by the day, corporate compliance has never been more important. Being compliant with the law has become more complex and time-consuming than ever before. As a startup, you simply won’t have the time to complete your secretarial services whilst trying to run your business at the same time.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to finding a corporate secretary, there are many businesses available that are here to help. They can provide you with your very own secretary, or allow you to outsource your secretarial work to them on a contract basis. No matter your choice, make sure you find an individual to cover this work for you to avoid costly, time-consuming mistakes.