Does My Company Need a Company Secretary?
Public companies are required to have a company secretary under the Companies Act 2006 but it is a different story for private limited companies registered in the UK where it is entirely optional. Some private companies opt to have a company secretary whilst others do not.
A company secretary takes the burden of responsibility for administrative, regulatory and governance matters. This leaves the directors free to manage other aspects of their business such as networking, marketing, financing, recruiting, operations and sales.
Although you do not need to be qualified for the role within a private company setting, qualifications can be obtained from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries. The qualifications are essential if you are planning to work in this role for a public company. Often, companies outsource the role to secretarial firms such as M & N Group Limited.
The company secretary’s role is not documented in legislation but generally includes the following:-
- File confirmation statements and accounts on time;
- Maintain the statutory books of the company and keep the company’s documents and records safe and secure;
- Arrange general meetings and manage communications with shareholders;
- Maintain the company’s registered office address on all stationery and online and update Companies House if it changes;
- Ensure accurate legal procedures are followed during transactions that effect the company and ensure all legal documents are signed correctly;
- Provide advice on the Companies Act 2006 and ensure compliance with all statutory requirements and applicable codes and regulations;
- Ensure that the decisions of the board are implemented and support is provided to all the different board committees;
- Provide training to new directors about their duties and responsibilities and ongoing training to directors when legislative or regulatory changes occur; and
- Support the chairman to ensure the board functions effectively.
This list is not exhaustive as company secretaries can also often be responsible for insurance renewals, the management of rental agreements and facilities, payroll and pensions amongst other things. It can be a full on role and can often take more time than expected. A sign that this role is still important is the fact that Companies House need to be notified when a person is appointed to the position or when they resign and that is regardless of whether the role is in a private or public company.
Whether you are planning to take on the role yourself or appoint a company secretary, talk to M & N Group Limited. We have assisted hundreds of clients with their company secretarial enquiries. We can offer support and advice to your organisation wherever it is needed or act as company secretary to your company so please get in touch.