There are four main stakeholders that serve as the basis for companies registered in Singapore: shareholders, directors, auditors and company secretaries. Of these four, the secretary has the least responsibility. However, they are still considered to be the key players in fulfilling an important objective for running a business.

From the point of view of new companies, especially those that operate on a limited budget, the inclusion of a company secretary in the human resource group can be a matter of debate. Frequently asked questions such as “Won’t they eat start-up money?” And “Can’t their responsibilities be shared by other stakeholders?” This article answers this dilemma. How important is a company secretary really in a business that is still working?

In Singapore, a company secretary service is required by law to be appointed. The government strictly enforces such requirements and failure to comply may result in fines and penalties.

As a legal requirement

Singapore Business Law requires that all companies be qualified and appointed as local secretaries within six months of your company joining Singapore. Appoint a Secretary for your company can only be covered by a person who is an ordinary resident of the city-state, and he / she cannot be the sole director of the company.

Before being appointed as a secretary of a public company, a 3-5 years of secretarial service is required and they must also meet the set of requirements before being appointed to the post. This is because the work of the public secretariat reflects more knowledge and legal practice, and the situation is often internal and full-time employment.

Private companies, on the other hand, do not have to meet such stringent requirements. According to LinkedIn Plus, candidates must only reside in Singapore (or have a permanent residency status or employment pass) and legal age. However, this does not mean that their role and importance in a business is less important.

Do startups need to hire a company secretary?

With less stringent requirements than private business secretaries, it is not surprising that paper is appreciated, especially by new businesses. However, company secretaries also perform certain functions such as requirements and annual presentation of accountants and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) required by the Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACR).

Generally, the duties and functions of a Singaporean company secretary can be divided into two: 

  1. commercial and operational duties
    B. legal and financial obligations

The following is a general description of each.


Commercial and operational duties

A company acts as a liaison between secretary directors and employees. He is responsible for setting the agenda for meetings and informal meetings, and is also an important person to request relevant information about the company. They are also responsible for all transactions that may affect the distribution of shares, and the main person for all company transaction documents.

Legal and financial obligations

With respect to legal and financial obligations, the Secretary is one who runs a company’s insurance coverage and prepares and files all account statements in accordance with company law. He is also expected to comply with the laws and regulations established by the business memorial organization.

Now that you understand the role of the corporate secretary well, it’s time for new businesses to get back to the point of their importance.

So how important are they really?

In a nutshell, a new company must also acquire a company secretary because the responsibilities associated with their position are very important to the business processes. Startups, for example, are still at the stage where they are building their market base. Not having anyone dedicated to secretarial tasks can drive a system crazy when something is lost because “everyone is too busy to do it.”

The main challenge that may arise in the absence of a corporate secretariat is that entrepreneurs cannot provide the necessary access to the business aspects that are usually under the responsibility of a secretary.