When you first set up a limited company, you must choose a director. You may also want to consider choosing a separate person to be appointed as your company secretary. A company secretary has an important role in ensuring that your company stays compliant with certain legal regulations. While it is not required that you have a separate company secretary, there are several benefits to doing so.
Company secretaries are officers within a company that share legal duties with the director. Most companies appoint company secretaries even though they are no longer required to simply because they fulfill an important administrative role in the company. The company secretary acts as the administrative head of the company. There are duties and roles given to a company secretary that can include filing annual returns and documents to Companies House and convening board meetings.
The company owners and directors will appoint a company secretary when they first register the limited company with Companies House. The secretary is named on the application used to register the company. The person that you choose as company secretary should fully understand their roles and obligations. Note that the Companies Act of 2006 has imposed a variety of obligations on the company secretary as well as a number of criminal offenses if those obligations are not met.
The main role of the company secretary is working with Companies House on reporting. Filing annual returns for the company and other documents with Companies House is typically the duty of the company secretary. These important documents often include the company’s annual return or confirmation statement, which is a summary of company information. This information must be kept up to date. The company secretary is tasked with filling out this form and submitting it to Companies House within 28 days of a particular date and the form should be submitted at least once in every twelve month period.
Company secretaries are also often tasked with submitting the auditor’s report. In addition to filing forms with Companies House, the company secretary also takes on a number of administrative duties within the company. It is the role of the company secretary to maintain the registered office of the company. In addition to meeting legal requirements for Companies House, the company secretary also helps with keeping records regarding board meetings, arranging those meetings and arranging the AGM or annual general meetings for the company. For smaller companies, the company secretary may take on additional duties that deal with the administration of the company such as issues with PAYE and payroll as well as compliance with all health and safety regulations.
Company secretaries also are often responsible for signing documents for the board, like leases or other documents and may take on additional tasks as the company dictates. The specific role of the company secretary can be outlined in the articles of association. While your company may not be required to appoint a company secretary, they can help to take some of the administration tasks away from directors, giving them more time to worry over the actual operation of the company.