When you incorporate a company in Singapore, you are required by the Singapore Companies Act to appoint a corporate secretary within six months from the date of incorporation. The office of the corporate secretary shall not be left vacant for more than 6 months at any one time.

A corporate secretary fulfills a range of compulsory duties. These include maintaining company records and statutory registers, arranging board meetings, as well as filing and updating documents with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (“ACRA”).As the company grows, this role increases in complexity. So, while companies may opt to get a director to fulfill this role or to hire an independent corporate secretary, this certainly isn’t the best option.

While the corporate secretary of a private company can be anyone with requisite knowledge and experience and is an ordinary resident of Singapore, the requirements for corporate secretary of a public company are much more stringent.

With such an extensive list of corporate secretarial companies in Singapore, it can be rather hard to decide on the right one to suit your needs!

Here are the 5 key questions to ask while determining the best corporate secretarial services to outsource to and determining the specific services you require.

Question 1: Does The Firm Have Staff That Have The Required Qualifications

Whether you are a startup or a company looking to go public, it is much wiser to engage a company with the best qualifications possible!

In Singapore, the corporate secretary of a public company must be suitably qualified, and satisfy one of the following criteria, at the very minimum:

✔ Been a secretary of a company for at least 3 of the 5 years immediately before his/her appointment as secretary of the public company
✔ Qualified person under the Legal Profession Act
✔ Public accountant registered under the Accountants Act
✔ Member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants
✔ Member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries Singapore
✔ Member of the Association of International Accountants (Singapore Branch)
✔ Member of the Institute of Company Accountants, Singapore

If the company which has staff who can meet all these requirements, it is fully capable of handling the corporate secretarial services of both public and private firms.

Question 2: Do They Understand All The Local Rules And Regulations?

It is especially important to choose a reputable secretarial services firm that is aware of all the local rules and regulations, including any extensions or modifications.

They have to be able to handle the arrangement of AGMs, tax filing as well as the maintenance and filing of company records within the time stipulated by the authorities.

A great secretarial services provider should ensure that your business is well-organized, such that you save cost in the long run.

International law is vastly complex, and rules about taxes, trade, currency conversion, and contracts vary from region to region. If you do business overseas, you should also check with your provider about the laws in different countries which may affect local proceedings.

Question 3: Do They Provide A Comprehensive Suite Of Solutions?

As your business grows, it is much better to outsource the non-core functions with a single provider.

These include financial accounting (recording and preparing the income statement, the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows), tax filing, and company payroll (processing payment instructions, generating salaries and statutory reports, filing bank payments, and creating electronic pay slips).

Having all these services under one roof makes it easier for you as you don't have to spend time hunting for individual providers!

Moreover, it is likely that your provider will be able to customize a specific package which encompasses all your business needs, allowing you to also enjoy significant cost savings.

Question 4: Does Your Firm Provide A Dedicated Corporate Secretary Or Account Manager For Your Company

Having a single point of contact allows for excellent communication. Such an individual will be familiar with the history and operations of your company.

This allows for a long-term partnership and for your corporate secretary to grow with your business, providing personalized customer care.

There is a specific time-frame during which annual returns should be filed, and an Annual General Meeting should be held.

Having a dedicated corporate secretary will ensure that all these details will be attended to promptly as non-compliance of any of these regulations could result in penalties.

Question 5: Am I About Go Public With My Company Or Am I Evolving My Corporate Structure?

If so, you need a firm that goes beyond providing you the basic corporate secretarial services.

You’ll have to look for a provider that has a track record of handling not only regional but also multinational firms.

This will require corporate advisory services that include compliance, employee care, expansion (expat services, payroll, and employee plan services) and shareholder support services (poll-voting and share registry).

For your company’s IPO, getting the help of a secretarial firm will also help you avoid grueling administrative work and save time.

Secretarial companies such as Boardroom offer a wide range of services such as security listing and shareholder analytics that help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.

Looking For Corporate Secretarial Services In Singapore?

At Boardroom, we are a top accounting firm in Singapore and are experts in helping companies, from corporations to fast-growing SMEs, allowing them to focus on what matters - growing their business.

From handling tax accounting to managing secretarial duties for companies across Asia-Pacific, we help companies with our full suite of corporate services, allowing them to stay compliant and stay organized for better decision making.

Contact us today and empower your organization with greater freedom through our range of corporate solutions.

Or you can also learn more about our corporate secretarial solutions here.

Author's Bio: 

Corporate secretarial service stands as a supporting structure to the company's compliance needs regardless of nature of the company as the company secretary is adept in handling all types of company.