Corporate Secretarial Useful Guide For Small Businesses in Singapore

Company secretarial services in Singapore

In this blog post, we have shared some company secretarial information like rules, regulations, and tips, etc.

 

 

Common mistakes to avoid when managing company secretarial matters in Singapore

Ensuring compliance with the legal & regulatory requirements governing your company is crucial for your business. One important aspect of compliance is managing your company’s secretarial matters effectively. The company’s secretarial matters may include activities like maintaining accurate records, ensuring timely filings, and complying with the relevant laws.

In this blog post, we have shared some common mistakes to avoid when managing company secretarial matters in Singapore.

 

Failing to appoint a company secretary

It is important for all companies to appoint a company secretary within six months of their incorporation (Under the Companies Act in Singapore). There are many legal and regulatory activities that your corporate secretary can do for you such as maintaining accurate records and managing other secretarial matters. Failing to appoint a company secretary can result in penalties and fines.

 

Not keeping accurate records

Keeping accurate records is important for complying with legal requirements and managing company secretarial matters effectively. When you hire a company secretary in Singapore, they will keep all the necessary records to make your work easier.

 

Missing deadlines for filings

Filing important documents before their deadlines is crucial for ensuring compliance with various legal and regulatory requirements. Your company secretary will make sure that all the necessary filings are done on or before time. This is perhaps one of the major reasons to appoint a company secretary in Singapore.

 

Failing to update the register of members

Updating the register of members regularly is yet another important task that comes under company secretarial activities. Failing to do can attract legal challenges. Don’t let this happen and make sure you or your company secretary is updating the register of members.

 

Not complying with the requirements for holding meetings

Holding meetings is an integral part of managing company secretarial matters. All the companies should hold annual general meetings, extraordinary general meetings, and board meetings. Not complying with this requirement could be another crucial mistake that companies may make.

 

Not complying with the requirements for issuing notices of meetings

Issuing notices of meetings is another important aspect of complying with the requirements for holding meetings. You could be in a problem if you do not issue notices of meetings. Hiring a company secretary in Singapore will make sure that your business always complies with the requirements for issuing notices of meetings.

 

Failing to comply with the requirements for passing resolutions

Passing resolutions is an important aspect of managing company secretarial matters. Failing to comply with the requirements for passing resolutions can result in the resolution being deemed invalid, and can also create additional risks for the company.

 

Not complying with the requirements for maintaining the company’s statutory books

The Companies Act in Singapore requires every company to maintain various statutory books. Therefore, all companies should ensure that their statutory books are maintained in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations failing which can also result in penalties.

 

11 Reasons to outsource company secretarial services in Singapore

 

Cost savings

Outsourcing your corporate matters to a company secretary will allow you to avoid the costs associated with hiring and retaining full-time employees to manage your secretarial matters. In other words, hiring a company secretary in Singapore is cost-effective.

 

Expertise and experience

Outsourcing company secretarial services provide access to the expertise and experience of professionals who specialize in this field. It’s because professional company secretaries keep themselves updated with the latest regulatory changes and best practices.

 

Focus on core business activities

If you are not good at managing company secretarial activities, then it’s better to outsource. Because when you outsource all the administrative tasks to a professional company secretary in Singapore, you can focus more on your business which will further improve your efficiency.

 

Reduced risk of non-compliance

Hiring a professional corporate secretary helps reduce the risk of non-compliance with legal and regulatory requirements because they will take care of all the necessary regulations that your company should comply with.

 

Improved efficiency

Outsourcing company secretarial services can improve efficiency by streamlining your secretarial processes and reducing administrative tasks. This means you will save your time and increase your productivity.

 

Reduced administrative burden

When you engage a company secretary for your business, your in-house employees will be freed up from the tedious administrative tasks and they can focus more on their core jobs & can experience higher job satisfaction.

 

A wider range of services

Most company secretaries in Singapore offer a wide range of services to their clients. These services may include accounting & bookkeeping, auditing, business consultation, and more.

 

Enhanced corporate governance

Another reason for outsourcing company secretarial services is that it helps enhance your corporate governance by ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Professional service providers can provide guidance on corporate governance best practices and help you implement these practices effectively.

 

Peace of mind

Last but not least, hiring a professional company secretary in Singapore can give you peace of mind because now you no longer have to worry about any deadlines or tasks related to corporate regulations. This small investment is really worth it.

 

Changes to company secretarial regulations in Singapore

Over the years, the government has made several changes to the company secretarial regulations that we will share now.

 

Electronic filing

In recent years, the government has encouraged the electronic filing of documents related to company secretarial matters. Electronic filing has made it convenient & less time-consuming to submit the required documents.

 

Increased transparency

Unlike before, Singapore government now demands that all the companies have to disclose their beneficial ownership information.

 

Mandatory appointment of company secretary

All companies in Singapore must appoint a company secretary within 6 months of their inception.

 

Enhanced reporting requirements

 

All registered companies in Singapore must have a qualified auditor for the auditing of the financial statements and every auditing and the whole process must comply with the Singapore Financial Reporting Standards.

 

Intellectual property

 

Intellectual Property Office of Singapore that regulates the registration and protection of intellectual property rights has norms to be complied by all the companies.

Companies are now required to comply with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which

 

Compliance requirements for companies in Singapore

Below are some of the compliance requirements that companies in Singapore must follow.

 

Appointment of Corporate Secretary

 

For all registered companies in Singapore, appointing a company secretary within 6 months of incorporation is compulsory.

 

Rule of AGM i.e. Annual General Meeting

 

Singapore registered companies are needed to hold an AGM within 6 months of the financial year and also should present the financial statements to the shareholders.

 

Filing of Annual Returns

Every company in Singapore must file an annual return (providing information on the company’s directors, shareholders, and company secretary) with the ACRA within one month of its AGM.

 

Corporate Governance

All Singapore-incorporated companies must maintain proper corporate governance such as setting up a board of directors, having a code of conduct, implementing proper internal controls, et.

 

Taxation

Companies in Singapore must also comply with the taxation requirements (as per IRAS) such as filing tax returns, paying corporate taxes, complying with GST regulations, and more. It is therefore recommended for all businesses hire a tax agent in Singapore.

 

How to hire the right company secretary in Singapore?

 

Below are some of the important checkpoints that you must follow before hiring a professional corporate secretary in Singapore:

 

Qualifications and Experience

Check out the necessary qualifications and experience before you hire a company secretary in Singapore. It’s also important to check out their expertise and experience in handling company secretary matters for other companies.

 

Reputation

The reputation of the corporate secretarial services provider is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a company secretary in Singapore. Do your research properly and check out what do their clients say about them and their support.

 

Range of Services

When choosing a company secretary in Singapore, it is essential to ensure that they offer the required services such as maintaining statutory registers, preparing minutes of meetings, filing annual returns, and managing share transfers.

 

Communication and Availability

Effective communication is essential when working with a corporate secretary in Singapore. The company secretary should be responsive to your inquiries and keep you informed about any changes in the legal and regulatory requirements. If your existing company secretary is not responsive to your queries & concerns, it may be time to switch over to another corporate secretary.

 

Fees

Before you hire a company secretary in Singapore, check out their fees. You can also know more about our cost details online at company secretarial fees.

 

Using Technology and using Automation

A company secretary that uses technology & automation can help streamline the compliance process and provide faster and more accurate services. You should ask the corporate secretary about how they are using technology and automation and whether they have a client portal for accessing records and information.

 

Recommended post: What Can a Company Secretary Do For My Business?

 

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ACRA Cancels Registration of Filing Agent and Qualified Individual for AML/CFT Breaches

The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) had cancelled the registrations of filing agent (RFA) and qualified individual (RQI) on 18 January 2024. The registrations were cancelled in view of breaches of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls under the ACRA (Filing Agents and Qualified Individuals) Regulations 2015 (the “ACRA Regulations”).

Some of the basic AMT/CFT controls that a RFA and RQI are required to exercise are as follows:

(a) perform additional customer due diligence measures when a customer is not physically present during onboarding;

(b) inquiring if there exists any beneficial owner in relation to some of its customers; and

(c) perform risk assessments i

RQIs and RFAs provide corporate secretarial services for business entities, such as helping customers to incorporate companies, file annual returns and fulfil other filing requirements under the Companies Act 1967 or other Acts under ACRA’s purview. RQIs and RFAs are required to perform customer due diligence measures in accordance with the ACRA Regulations, and conduct their business in such a manner as to guard against the facilitation of money laundering and the financing of terrorism. RQIs and RFAs must also satisfy statutory requirements such as being fit and proper persons, to be registered or continue to be registered.

RQIs and RFAs who breach their statutory obligations may be subject to enforcement actions, such as financial penalties of up to $10,000 or $25,000 per breach respectively or have their registrations with ACRA suspended or cancelled.

Therefore, RQIs and RFAs play an important role in helping to detect and combat illicit activities.

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