The 3 Most Important Roles of a Company Secretary

10 March 2020
Whilst the word ‘secretary’ might conjure up images of answering phones and scheduling appointments, a company secretary role if quite different. A company secretary is considered an officer of the company and shares many legal duties as the directors of a company as well as special ones which apply to them personally.

Incorporating a company often requires opening of a bank account, a physical address, minimum directs and shareholders and of course, a secretary.

The company secretary in a Hong Kong company serves as the main link between business and statutory organs. Every question regarding any company’s legitimacy will be directed to the company’s secretary. Any changes in legal requirements will be implemented by the company secretary and according to the Hong Kong company Ordinances, the company secretary is deemed to start the role in the company the same day as incorporation.

As well as all the usual responsibilities of a company secretary such as taking minutes and maintaining records there are 3 main reasons for the need of a company secretary in Hong Kong…

1. To be a company representative

The company secretary will often serve as a bridge between the government and the company when administration wants to reach the company. This can be for a number of reasons including legal matters, clarification or other complex issues. The company secretary is also responsible for maintaining and updating the company’s statutory books which contain details of the company including the registers of directors and shareholders.

The company secretary is also responsible for overseeing production and distribution of the company accounts and reports, which are also distributed to shareholders and other members of the company. The company secretary will also oversee the process of liquidation from beginning to end if this is something that is decided upon.

2. Law compliance

In order to have your business listed in particular stock exchanges you must have a qualified company secretary. This requirement is a law implemented in some countries such as Hong Kong. The company secretary also assists companies in operating smoothly and to avoid conflicts.

The company secretary is also responsible for facilitating the company’s compliance with other legal regulations.

3.Tax obligations

Other essential responsibilities of a company secretary are decision making, governance and administration processes.

One of the most important is tax compliance. It is the company secretary’s responsibility to facilitate tax compliance for the company from beginning to end.

In Hong Kong, the company secretary is responsible for gaining additional authorization from the Hong Kong government, the company secretary must facilitate compliance for operating smoothly. It is also the responsibility of the company secretary to oversee company tax returns are done on time and correctly.

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