Find Corporate Secretarial Services in Singapore – How?

Corporate secretary services in Singapore

Under the requirements of Singapore’s business registrar (ACRA), all companies must appoint a company secretary within six months of incorporation. Note that, unlike some overseas jurisdictions, this applies to both private and public companies. So what are the things to note if you want to find a corporate secretarial services in singapore?

Corporate secretary Service in Singapore
How to Find a Corporate Secretarial Service, the right one, in Singapore

This can be problematic for business owners or directors who work outside of Singapore, and have no intent of moving here to run operations. For this reason, ACRA does allow for licensed, third-party entities to provide corporate secretarial services. Such service-providers have qualified personnel, who can fulfil the function of company secretary in your absence. 

Here is what you need to Find in a corporate secretarial service:

  • Basic qualifications of the company secretary
  • Solid grasp of administrative needs
  • Affordability of service
  • Capacity for your company’s long-term plans
  • Sufficient degree of personal initiative  
  • Industry insight or experience

1. Basic qualifications how to Find corporate secretary Services

Your company secretary must be residing in Singapore, and must have been a company secretary for at least three of the five years preceding appointment as secretary of a public company.

They must also be a qualified person under the Legal Profession Act (e.g. no criminal record). In terms of credentials, they must be at least one of the following:

  • A Public Accountant registered under the Accountants Act
  • A Member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore
  • A Member of the Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • A Member of the Association of International Accountants (Singapore)
  • A Member of the Institute of Company Accountants (Singapore)

Foreigners should note that in Singapore, it is prohibited for any company director to also serve as the company secretary. 

If you have difficulty finding the right person, we’re on hand to help you. Just drop us a quick note or call.

2. Solid grasp of administrative needs

Given that the company secretary must have previous experience (see point 1), you can generally assume that they will be familiar with basic tasks – these include:

  • Preparing financial statements in XBRL format, or a Financial Statements Highlight (FSH) 
  • Coordinating all aspects of an Annual General Meeting (AGM), such as keeping the minutes, ensuring the right information is sent to shareholders beforehand, etc.
  • Handle shareholder queries 
  • Provide advice in ensuring various legal compliances

However, look beyond these basic administrative tasks. Ideally, a good company secretary can also provide support such as coordinating with local clients (e.g. ensuring invoices are updated and paid if you use a local web developer), or pre-empting you on regulatory changes. 

As part of our value-added services, we prize quick responsiveness and administrative / compliance-related advice to clients, in a changing regulatory environment. Do contact us for help if you need to run your company remotely.

3. How Affordable is your Corporate secretarial service

Rather than simply look for the cheapest, we advise you look for the most affordable corporate secretarial service that also fits your needs

A cheaper service may work on volume, and handle a much larger number of clients; this could mean your business gets less individual attention. If you’re in a particularly complex industry, or are planning near-term expansion, such services may be too slow to keep pace with your needs.

We provide transparent fees at competitive annual rates; but we also believe in taking on clients that we can give our full attention to. Contact us for more details.

4. Capacity for growth – Your corporate secretary must be knowledgeable to help your company grow

Be sure to communicate your long-term growth plans to your company secretary. For example, if you intend to grow from a sole-proprietorship to a Private Limited company, you need a company secretary competent enough to handle the eventual change (and to advise you on each administrative step, when the transition begins).

Likewise, you should find a more holistic and experienced service, if your business will be expanding into more specialised fields (e.g. pharmaceuticals, construction, or other industries with extensive licensing needs). 

5. Find Corporate secretarial service with Sufficient initiative

A good company secretary takes the initiative, rather than just waiting for instructions. 

Examples include warning you of potential AGM issues (e.g. key personnel say they cannot attend, dangerously close to the date), changes to industry regulations, or simply giving you a heads-up on a better corporate bank account option.

This is especially important for company directors who will be working overseas, or have a more hands-off approach to the local business. 

6. Industry insight or experience

While it’s not necessary, it’s always helpful if the company secretary has some experience or insight in your industry. 

This is mainly useful for shareholder relations – for example, a company secretary who has prior experience in the oil and gas industry can better understand technical queries by shareholders. The company secretary is also better able to spot mistakes in technical correspondences, and act as a second set of eyes. 

However, treat this as being more of a preference than a necessity; it’s more important for a company secretary to meet the other requirements on the list, such as having initiative.

We’re a one-stop solution provider that can meet these needs and more. Singapore is business-friendly, but it still has a tight regulatory environment. We’ve got the right personnel to drive your business needs forward, and minimise the impact of bureaucratic red-tape. Just drop us a note and we’ll be right in touch.

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Sue Happy Clients

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