There are two official roles that someone can play for a limited company, that being the role of a director or a secretary. Whilst the role of a director is widely discussed and understood, the role of a secretary is less talked about.
In a not too distant past, it was a requirement for all limited companies to appoint a secretary as well as a director. Legislation changed this in April 2008, meaning the appointment of a secretary is now an optional addition for a company, so you may be wondering, do I still need one? What are the benefits of appointing one?
What is a company secretary responsible for?
Broadly speaking, a secretary is responsible for the administration of the company. This covers the following important areas:
- Compliance related matters, covering corporate governance, financial and legal regulations, and;
- Management of shareholder administration and communications.
Sometimes, a company secretary may also provide advice to the board of directors.
What does this mean in terms of tasks?
Distilling these broader objectives into tangible tasks and exercises, a company secretary could be expected to ensure the following are completed:
- Filing the annual accounts and confirmation statements;
- Maintaining the company’s statutory books and records, and informing Companies House of any changes;
- Arranging director and shareholder meetings;
- Ensuring company records are kept secure and confidential.
What if I don’t have a secretary?
Under the Companies Act, if a company doesn’t have a secretary, then the above responsibilities generally pass along to the directors of the company, or another authorised individual in that behalf by the directors.
These kinds of administrative tasks, when combined with all the other roles a company director needs to fulfill, can become a burden. A director doesn’t have to fulfill both roles however. There are other options available, for example, a spouse or civil partner could be appointed secretary to manage these duties.
Hive is able to assist with many areas of statutory and regulatory requirements, from ensuring the annual accounts are duly filed each year to maintaining the company records, these tasks are included in all of our compliance packages as standard.
If you need assistance with your company compliance, get in touch today.