What does a Company Secretary do?
A Company Secretary is the person legally responsible to the Registrar at Companies House for filing the appropriate paperwork within the timescales allowed.Since the Companies Act 2006 private limited companies don’t need to have a named company secretary, but if you don’t the tasks still need to be done by someone!
Company Secretary responsibilities
If you choose not to have a named company secretary the role still needs to be fulfilled by someone. The specific duties of a company secretary are not defined by the Companies Act 2006 but their role usually includes being responsible for:
- Maintaining the registers of shareholders, directors, directors’ interests, charges and mortgages
- Correctly filing statutory documents with the Registrar at Companies House
- Reminding shareholders of meeting dates and making sure they have any documents they need
- Supplying copies of the annual accounts prior to the AGM
- Keeping minutes of directors’ meetings
- Ensuring correct access to various documents by those entitled to see them (eg shareholders and the general public can see the register of shareholders, shareholders are entitled to view and have copies of meeting minutes)
Company Secretary qualifications for a limited company
If you’re a Private Limited Company you don’t need a named company secretary if you don’t want to. If you do have one they don’t need any specific qualifications, but should have a good understanding of the regulations affecting companies, and be extremely well organised. It’s a responsible role and it’s important to get things right otherwise you’ll face penalties from Companies House.
Company Secretary qualifications for a PLC
Public Limited Companies (PLCs) must have a named Company Secretary and there are very specific guidelines regarding the qualifications and experience that a company secretary of a PLC must hold. The Company Secretary of a PLC must be a person who appears to the directors to have the necessary knowledge and ability to fulfil the functions, or is a member of any of the following bodies:
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- Chartered Accountants Ireland (ICAI)
- The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators(ICSA)
- The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)