Running a successful company involves much more than simply providing excellent products or services to your customers; behind the scenes, various administrative tasks wait to be completed.
And they must be completed. Otherwise, you risk frustrating board members and shareholders, or even falling foul of your legal duties as set out by the Companies Act.
Before April 2008, companies, by law, had to appoint a company secretary to complete those legal duties. While that is no longer the case, that hasn’t reduced the workload they were responsible for.
You might be so overwhelmed by legislative requirements that you’re interested in purchasing an outsourced company secretarial service. But what exactly are company secretaries, what do they do and why is it a good idea to appoint one?
Understanding company secretarial services
Company secretarial services involve managing the administrative and compliance aspects of a company.
A company secretary, either an individual or a professional firm, takes charge of these services to ensure that the company complies with laws and regulations set out in the Companies Act.
However, their role goes beyond maintaining the company’s legal and statutory compliance, as they’re also in charge of keeping the board and shareholders informed about various happenings within the company.
Key responsibilities of company secretarial services
Let’s unpick the role of a company secretary in a bit more detail.
1. Statutory Compliance
One of the primary responsibilities of company secretarial services is to ensure that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements. This includes filing annual returns, preparing and submitting financial statements, and adhering to tax obligations.
When a company undergoes changes, such as altering its structure, increasing share capital, or modifying its articles of association, a secretary will also oversee these processes..
They play a key role in upholding and promoting good corporate governance practices within the organisation. They ensure transparency, accountability, and fairness in the company’s operations.
2. Board Support
Company secretaries also usually provide support to the board of directors by organising board meetings, preparing agendas, taking minutes, and ensuring that decisions taken during meetings are implemented effectively. Without them, things might not run as smoothly or even be missed completely.
3. Shareholder Communication
Lastly, company secretaries allow for smooth communication between the company and its shareholders. They handle the distribution of relevant information to shareholders, organise annual general meetings (AGMs), and manage the voting process, too.
Benefits of hiring a company secretary
While these may seem like tasks you could do yourself, it’s usually extremely beneficial for companies to hire a company secretary.
First, you need to consider the expertise and knowledge a company secretary will bring to your organisation:
- Company secretaries are first and foremost specialists in company regulation and will be able to ensure you’re properly meeting all your legal requirements.
- They can also help establish and maintain good governance practices to build trust among stakeholders.
- The best company secretaries act as an independent party to ensure they work in the company’s best interest.
- Secretaries will also always ensure sensitive information remains secure and private.
Secondly, hiring a company secretary will save you a lot of time down the road, as you won’t have to worry about ensuring you’re jumping through every legal hoop — your secretary will do that, and they’ll let you know if something’s wrong. That leaves you a lot more time to lead your organisation from the front.
Why you should outsource your company secretarial services
However, hiring a secretary isn’t the only way to go. You could instead outsource them to a firm like us, which will be more beneficial for most companies in the long run for a number of reasons:
- We’re also experts in company law, having acted as company secretary for many clients in the past. We can easily scale our services up or down as you require.
- It’s cheaper. After all, you don’t have to pay us a salary — just for the value of our services.
- We’ll save you even more time as you won’t have to worry about sending out job applications, interviewing or training a new employee.