Is it a good idea to sign up to Company Secretary services when you start up your company? Or is it too early? And what does a Company Secretary do exactly?
Like most questions in business, it is really a matter of your own situation and needs. Below we list options that directors have when they are considering the duties of a Company Secretary. We hope this will help you in deciding whether you need one now or later.
What Is A Company Secretary?
Since the Companies Act 2014, you only need to have one Director in your Irish company. This has really simplified the formation of companies in Ireland and means that there is no need for the old practice of having spouses, family members or friends be Directors ‘in name only’. There is a requirement, however, for your company to have a Company Secretary. This role has a really important function, so cannot be considered lightly as just being a name on your paperwork. The Company Secretary is responsible for communicating with the Companies Registration Office and the Revenue Commissioners. The role is extremely important since failure to comply with the law and regulatory requirements has serious consequences for your company.
Given the importance of the role, many newly formed companies decide to outsource this role to a professional Company Secretary firm or a Chartered Accountancy firm which has these skills in – house. Below are three different options for you to choose for your new company.
1. Have One Company Director, Outsource the Company Secretary Name and Role
In this situation, a new business owner decides to just appoint themselves as the single Director. They then use a firm of accountants or company secretaries to be the named Company Secretary on all paperwork. The Company Secretary acts as a guide on relevant legislation. The benefit of this arrangement is that you don’t need to involve any friends, family or acquaintances to act as co-signatories on your legal paperwork. A further benefit is that the Company Secretary is a professional who keeps a register of all of the limited company’s requirements. An individual who can advise and guide the Director and shareholders of their compliance with legal and regulatory matters throughout the life of the company.
Many of our clients who are Directors choose this option as it maintains their independence and removes the reliance on a business partner to perform the functions. In addition, it offers the peace of mind of professional guidance.
2. Have A Named Company Secretary, Outsource the Role
Some clients name one of their Directors as a Company Secretary on their initial paperwork and later realise that the role has quite a bit of responsibility attached. They realise the role is beyond the experience or skill (or time available) of the individual named. When you consider that it is also a legal responsibility of the Directors to ensure that the Company Secretary is sufficiently qualified for the position, it is wise to take this seriously. In this instance, Directors come to Accountant Online to request that we carry out the role of the Company Secretary and do all the work required. Yet, they request we are not named as their Company Secretary on paperwork.
This service means that Company Directors have a professional who they can rely on for guidance on directors’ statutory duties under the law. Furthermore, a company secretary will disclosure obligations and corporate governance requirements and practices.
3. Have A Named Company Secretary, Do the Role In-house
Some clients opt to ask one of their Directors to carry out the role of Company Secretary. This can be tricky if the individual does not have the background or training in company compliance. There is no requirement for a Company Secretary to be formally qualified. However, you should make sure that the person appointed to the role has a full understanding of the requirements of the role and the consequences for the company. In general, the person will need to ensure that they advise the Directors of their obligations, maintain statutory registers. Also, they will prepare and file annual returns with the Companies Registration Office and other requirements.
You may be in research mode for your startup company right now; gathering facts and making lists of what to do next. We are here to help. We offer a free consultation with one of our team of Accountants to help you get started on the right track. If there are questions we haven’t answered here, please do pop us a note and let us know how we can help.
Accountant Online’s Company Secretarial Service
Have these options helped you decide what is right for your stage of company? Drop us a line to set up a complimentary call with one of our team and we will help you through the decision – making process.
Accountant Online’s Company Secretarial Service starts at just €240 + VAT per year for startups and is an excellent investment for you to consider in this case. Get in touch on 01 905 9364
Also, we can help you with the following
- Re-organisation of share capital
- Preparation and filing of returns with the Companies Registration Office
- Increasing authorised share capital and effecting share allotments
- Voluntary strike off applications and restoration to the Register of Companies
- Acting as named company secretary
- Registered office facilities
Call us on 01 905 9364