It is a fact that all companies that are incorporated in Singapore have the key responsibility to make sure that they appoint a company secretary who lives in and is a resident of Singapore. If the company has only one director then that person is restricted from taking the secretary role. If on the other hand there is more than one director then one of those directors can act as the company secretary. This is all regulated through the Singapore companies act and it is there to protect both employees and businesses. This secretary must be put in place within six months of the businesses incorporation and this is mandated by the regulators. The person in question must live in Singapore and may also be a Singapore permanent resident.
The reason for needing a company secretary in Singapore that follows the above rules is because the company secretary can be held liable for a company’s failure to comply with certain business models. Company directors rely on the company secretary to guide them when it comes to compliance issues. The Board of Directors is responsible for appointing the company secretary and they must make sure that they are suitably qualified and they follow at least one of the criteria set out in the companies act. The following are just some of the responsibilities of the company secretary in Singapore.
- Statutory obligations – All the important statutory obligations need to be met and it is the company secretary’s job to make sure that the company is protected at all times. They need to ensure that good corporate governance is practised by everyone which includes cutting back on office expenses and they need to be regularly present at the companies registered address.
- An adviser – He or she needs to make sure that they provide the directors with information in a timely fashion and to provide any ongoing practical support that is required. They also need to communicate with the shareholders and similarly protect their interests and also provide them with financial statements at the company’s AGM. They also need to make sure that any documents required by law are some minutes in full and on time.
- Stay up-to-date – The company secretary is expected to help in the implementation of company strategies and to make sure that the board’s decisions are carried out and communicate properly. He or she needs to make sure that all legal obligations are met and they need to keep themselves very up-to-date with any changes in any business obligations.
These are just a few of the duties and responsibilities that a company secretary in Singapore is expected to do and there are numerous more. They are of course expected to be open to taking on any additional duties which have been mentioned in their employment contract and these could be in a legal, accounting, human resource or management situations. It is imperative that they try to avoid any conflict of interest and that they carry out all of their duties with great care.