What Is A Company Secretary

Thursday November 13, 2014

When you're setting up a company to take advantage of Limited Liability, you're opting to make certain details about your business public knowledge. In exchange for that information, you're getting protection for your personal assets and a number of other benefits. Your company becomes something separate from you, so if it gets ill you don't start sneezing yourself. Generally speaking, it's the Company Secretary's job to provide and update all this information.

Strictly speaking, you don't need to have a Company Secretary if you're a private company. In fact, a lot of companies decide to do without one. However, it can be useful to have someone making sure the business is keeping its statutory registers up-to-date, organising its public records and keeping track of any meetings or resolutions arising from them.

If you decide to do without a Secretary, you should seriously consider getting good, professional advice on taking care of the critical paperwork that goes into running your business. There are a lot of statutory hurdles to jump, and it's easy to get tripped up. You can't, for instance, get rid of an existing Company Secretary without letting Companies House know you've done it.

When a business has no Company Secretary, anything that would normally be sent to one is treated as being sent to the company itself. All the duties of a Secretary must then be carried out by a Director or someone else specifically appointed to deal with them. This is precisely the sort of thing RIFT Accounting is here for. We've got the expertise and experience to:

  • Deal directly with Companies House on your behalf.
  • Help maintain and keep safe all your company registers.
  • Help calculate, complete and submit all your company's required documentation.
  • Help file your annual accounts securely online.

Call or email us to learn more about how RIFT Accounting can lighten your load and clear the road ahead.

Getting Technical

There are a number of things that your business will have to do, whether handled by a Company Secretary or someone else.

Maintaining Statutory Registers

Whatever business you're in, you're going to have to shuffle some papers for the authorities. For starters, you'll need to send them a register of your members, Directors and charges. These registers will include things like the names and addresses of the people concerned, along with the dates they were appointed and whether they're still there. Any shares your members own will have to be accounted for, and all the public information must be available to be inspected at the company's registered office.

If you're concerned about personal privacy, it's worth keeping in mind that you can record a service address for your Directors. RIFT Accounting can take care of this for you, and a great deal more, by becoming your official agent and providing you with a registered office.

Completing and Filing Statutory Forms

When you're dealing with Companies House, it's beyond critical that you keep your records up-to-date and filed correctly. For example you must make sure that:

  • Your company’s annual accounts are filed on time at Companies House.
  • Your annual return is completed and filed.
  • Companies House are informed of any changes to the way your company is organised.

If you do not have a Company Secretary in your organisation it is vital that someone is designated as responsible for undertaking the tasks that a Company Secretary would handle.

There are often hard deadlines for getting all this information where it needs to go. Worse still, failure can actually mean that you have committed a criminal offence!

Charges

Companies House will want to know within 21 days whenever a company gives security for a loan, although either the borrower or the lender can inform them. Without that notification, the security offered won't be valid even though the loan will still have to be repaid. There are different rules for property, and good management of any charges is vital if you want to keep your credit profile spotless, so talk to RIFT Accounting for help and advice.

Meetings and Resolutions

It's a sad fact of business that most types of company can't just make every decision they need to on the spot. There are procedures to follow, formal meetings to arrange and resolutions to pass. Once those resolutions are set, the decisions are binding. They need to be clearly recorded and, when they alter the way the company is run, filed at Companies House.

Company regulations can be a complicated and time-consuming burden, whether you've got a Company Secretary or not.

We'll help make sure it never weighs you down.

Call us on 01233 653006 and see how we can help you today.

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