5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About the Role of a Company Secretary
When hearing the term “company secretary” many people mistakenly believe this is an employee whose main tasks involve typing up documents, greeting visitors and making coffee, while also staying on top of filing duties. However, this job description is more relevant to that of a company receptionist, as the role of company secretary requires a lot more experience than that of a receptionist, along with extensive knowledge of the legalities involved with running a company in the UK.
This short glossary will help you understand the role of a company secretary.
- The company secretary plays a crucial role in the smooth running of a company, and in many cases will be the main advisor to the board of directors advising on board procedure.
- In the UK, it is extremely important to keep up with legislation and business compliance issues, as failure to do so could result in large fines or even a jail term. The company secretary makes sure the company is in compliance with the latest laws and regulations with regards to how the business is run; makes sure the company follows legislation with regards to their staff, and also to their customers. The idea behind business compliance is to make sure firms act responsibly.
- Many businesses outsource the job of company secretary to company secretarial services specialists as this offers the benefit of saving time and money, and also knowing complicated compliance issues are managed by knowledgeable legal professionals.
- One of the more traditional secretarial tasks a company secretary will perform is overseeing board meetings and taking minutes.
- To set up a new Ltd Company in the United Kingdom, it must be accepted through Companies House, as any Ltd Company has to have approval government. The relationship between Companies House and any company is of vital significance. The Company Secretary acts as the official liaise between the company and Companies House, and will manage all correspondence and communication between the two parties. The Company Secretary is also responsible for submitting annual returns within the allotted time frame.
This short list is far from exhaustive; just a small sample of some of the complex tasks undertaken by a company secretary. Although companies are no longer required by law to have a company secretary, having a suitable professional take on the role frees up the company directors to better perform day to day duties and run the business without being weighed down with compliance issues.
A good company secretary will be a powerful source of legal knowledge, and vital to the directors for their compliance understanding, as well as an essential part of the overall success of running a company.
Note: If you wish to form a company in the UK, please do not use this article as a substitute for legal advice.