Appointing a company secretary is mandatory for every company in Malaysia. Many have the perception that they do filing paperwork or performing basic duties such as answering phone calls, and managing appointments, but in reality, they do much more than that!

A company secretary shares legal advice and duties with company director and is tasked to review the board’s procedure and corporate governance matters regularly. With such an important role being passed on to a company secretary, there are some crucial factors to consider before deciding on the corporate secretary for your company.

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NOTE: The company secretary must be appointed within 30 days from the date of incorporation of the company.

Eligibility of a Company Secretary

There are certain qualifications to fit the role as a company secretary. In accordance to Section 235 of the Companies Act 2016, a company must have at least one company secretary that is:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Resident of Malaysia
  • Licensed by the Registrar of Companies
  • Registered under Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
  • Registered Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA)
  • Registered with Malaysian Bar

In addition to legal requirements that must be met or risk getting penalised by the authorities, there are also some qualities that one should possess in order to fulfill the responsibilities of a secretary. These include:

  • Knowledgeable in company law and governance
  • Adept at processing and vetting high volumes of related information
  • Good eye for detail, detecting possible discrepancies in documents
  • Able to work well and coordinate with people at all levels
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Trustworthy and responsible

What are the Responsibilities of a Company Secretary in Malaysia

Apart from handling administrative matters, the role a company secretary has since ‘evolved’ into an important figure in every company. and is required to ensure a smooth running of the company. Here are some of the daily tasks that a company secretary does:

  • Acts as an officer for the company and an advisor to the Board of Director, providing operational advice
  • Ensuring the various compliances with the statutory Requirements and Advisory
  • Preparation of board meetings and as liaison between shareholders and the company
  • Filing of annual returns and full accounts in a timely manner
  • Ensuring the safety of company seal, preventing unauthorised usage
  • Primary point of contact for shareholders regarding corporate governance matters
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NOTE: Company secretary plays the most important role in a company aside from the directors as their signatures are required for every public institution, bank, license and government authorities! They are also the one signing all the accounts of a company apart from the director!
Corporate Secretarial checker

4 Factors to Consider When Hiring a Company Secretary

With the increasingly importance of a company secretary, the onus is on the company to hire the right one that best suits the business. Here are some tips that you should 4 factors you should consider before hiring a company secretary:

1. Having clear understanding of the Malaysian Company Laws

As a secretary is the legal assistance of a company, it only makes sense to appoint someone that is familiar with the laws and regulations of Malaysia.

With an incompetent secretary, there might be risks that your company breaching certain laws and incurring penalties or getting yourself into court cases not in your favor.

For example, company secretary of an auditing firm should know when to submit the audited annual reports to the registrar, failure to do so will result in fines which is not ideal.

2. Proficient communication skills

A company secretary acts and represents the company while conversing with external stakeholders such as shareholders and directors.

They must also be able to facilitate general meetings, annual general meetings as well as meeting with the directors of the company.

Accompanied with their knowledge of legal matters, they are no doubly able to provide professional and unbiased advice to the audience.

3. Administrative skills

Apart from bring the company’s ‘right-handed man’, company secretaries should also be able to handle other financial tasks such as filing tax returns as well as annual reports. They should also be able to pick up calls and answer any quires a customer may have.

4. Efficient financial analytic skills

A company secretary should also be able to handle financial statements, hence it is only logical that the secretary you hire should have an above average familiarity with financial knowledge.

This will lower the risks of misstatements made by inexperienced secretary, causing the company to make a loss because of a simple information the inexperienced secretary has missed out.

If you are looking for a trusted company secretary, or incorporating your company in Malaysia, reach out to us for a free consultation! We’d be glad to be part of your journey to business success.

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FAQs

What happens when my company secretary resigns and how to remove them?2021-09-24T13:45:27+08:00

A company secretary may resign by a notice to the board. The position of the vacant company secretary must not be left unfilled for more than 30 days. Form section 58 – reflecting the resignation and appointment of new secretary must be lodged with the Registrar of Companies within 14 days. In practice, the removal and appointment of company secretary is done simultaneously.

Is CS difficult to pass?2021-09-24T13:44:55+08:00

Passing the CS Professional Program is most difficult for any student. It is also highly recommended for CS aspirants to study for the Executive Program and Professional Program through any ICSI-recognized university, offering CS courses.

Is it compulsory to have a company secretary in Malaysia?2021-09-24T13:44:26+08:00

Malaysia company incorporation requirements outlined in the Companies Act 2016 states that every company must have at least one Company Secretary.

How many company secretary can I hire in a company?2021-09-24T13:43:58+08:00

The first company secretary shall be appointed within 30 days from the date of incorporation of the company, but a company is allowed to appoint more than one secretary.

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