Under S171 of the Companies Act, all locally incorporated companies are required to appoint at least one Company Secretary within 6 months of incorporation. Some private limited companies might choose to DIY this position in order to save on outsourcing costs, but for those of us who feel a bit uneasy about company law, accounting, and compliance issues, here’s a company that offers one of the lowest and most competitive rates for Company Secretary Services in Singapore:
Margin Wheeler offers annual Company Secretary services for $300 nett. If you choose to sign up for multiple years, you get a further discount ($560 for 2 years, $800 for 3 years). Some other companies charge as much as $50 per month plus GST, more than double the cost of Margin Wheeler’s rate. Their $300 Company Secretary package includes the following (please note that this package does not include the cost of Annual Filing – chargeable at $150):
- Disbursement To ACRA For Appointment Of Named Secretary
- Provision of Company Secretary / Secretarial Agent for your company
- Company Share Certificates
- First Board Meeting Resolutions
- Opening Of 1st Bank Current Account
- Maintaining of Statutory Registers and Minute Books
- Preparations of Minutes For AGM
- Drafting Of Director’s Resolutions (Chargeable Depending On The Complexity Of The Resolution Requested)
- Professional Consultation With Corporate Secretarial Issues
- Update On Developments In Compliance Regulations To Keep You Updated On Your Compliance Requirements
- Auto Filing Reminders
Besides price, they also offer convenience. They’re the first corporate firm in Singapore to offer online payment via Paypal. In fact, the entire process of appointing them to be your Company Secretary can be done online. When all documents are ready for you to sign, you can request convenient delivery of the documents to your office or home.
Another reason why they have a high renewal and conversion rate is because their response time is fast compared to other firms. Whenever clients have questions or issues regarding employees, shareholders, filings, and the like, they usually get back to them within 24 hours. They also provide other important corporate support services, such as company incorporation, accounting & bookkeeping, payroll, claims submission for various government credit schemes, and applying for GST.
Why You Might Need to Hire a Company Secretary
Of all the responsibilities of the Company Secretary, one of the most important is that they must ensure that directors and shareholders are informed when their annual filing and Annual General Meeting (AGM) needs to take place. When a company does not hold their AGM or complete their Annual Filing of Accounts, they are said to be non-compliant.
According to MOF, about 10% of companies in Singapore are non-compliant in their Annual Filing of Accounts. If you’re late or non-compliant, a penalty may be imposed and/or a summons may be issued against you as the company director for not holding the AGM or filing the Annual Return as stipulated under the law.
Qualifications of a Company Secretary
For private limited companies, the qualifications for the Company Secretary are lenient. Basically, the Company Secretary of a private limited company can be anyone residing locally “who appears to have the requisite knowledge and experience to discharge the functions of the secretary of the company”. A director can also be appointed as the Company Secretary so long as there is more than one director. For public companies, the requirements are more strict and can be found here. For sole proprietorship or limited liability partnership (LLP) structures, Company Secretaries are not required.
When it comes to appointing a Company Secretary, the decision to outsource or to DIY should not be treated as trivial. You may be saving money in the short term, but it may cost you more in the long term, particularly if you become non-compliant.
Disclaimer: The information given is of a general nature and may not be applicable to your specific situation. For specific legal advice, you should seek legal assistance from a qualified professional.