If you are incorporating a company in Malaysia, the company must appoint a Company Secretary. This individual must be appointed within 30 days after you have received your Certificate of Incorporation from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM). This is a mandatory requirement, along with the appointment of at least one company director.

Company Secretaries in Malaysia can work in both the public and private sectors, for both organisations and companies alike. They are, however, not a necessity for business entities which a private limited (you may still appoint them if you wish).

The Role of a Company Secretary in Your Business

A common misconception when you hear the word “secretary” is that this person handles the administrative tasks in the company, like the filing and paperwork for example. However, nothing could be further from the truth. A Company Secretary’s role is much bigger than that.

In fact, the Malaysia Company Secretary holds among the biggest roles and responsibilities within an organisation. Not only are the tasked with the responsibility of managing the running of the company efficiently, they are also responsible for ensuring that your business meets all its statutory and compliance regulations.

Other duties and responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and filing your company’s annual returns
  • Be in an advisory role and ensure secretarial records are well maintained. The individual will be responsible for advising the board on almost all business matters for the good of the company.
  • Handling and organising an Annual General Meeting at least once each calendar year. They are also responsible for handling the minutes of the board meetings and preparing the agenda of the meeting.
  • Be familiar with the compliance and statutory requirements of the regulating bodies.
  • Ensure that the company follows all the procedures that it is supposed to in accordance with the Companies Act 1965.
  • Ensure that the interests of the board members are well-protected.
  • Ensure that any change which the business undergoes must be duly completed in accordance with the prescribed forms within the required time frame.
  • Updating and maintaining all the company’s statutory books and paperwork.

As you can see, the Company Secretary has quite a heavy workload on their shoulders. Therefore, the person who is appointed to this role must be well-equipped to handle the demands that come with it.

What It Takes to Become a Company Secretary

Think being a Company Secretary is the right job for you? What Company Secretary requirements do you need to fulfill? If you meet the following criteria, you could have what it takes to be successful in this role. The requirements of a Company Secretary in Malaysia which must be met are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old or more (any person under the legal age limit will not be considered a qualified person)
  • You must have a professional license from the Registrar of Companies.
  • You must be highly knowledgeable and hold a keen interest in company law and governance.
  • You must be someone who has a keen eye for detail, nothing what others may miss.
  • You must be able to work well with people at all levels.
  • You must be able to write clearly and fluently.
  • You must be adept at processing high volumes of information.
  • You must be trustworthy. A lot of confidential information is going to be your responsibility to bear.
  • You must be residing in Malaysia.
  • You must be a member of a professional body or firm that is prescribed by the Ministry of Trade Malaysia.
  • If you are a Chartered Accountant you must be registered member of the Institute of Accountants Malaysia (MIA).
  • If you are a Chartered Secretary, you must be registered with the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (MAICSA).
  • If you are a Licensed Secretary, you must be registered with SSM.
  • If you’re a lawyer, you must be registered with the Malaysian Bar or relevant authorities.

Company Secretaries must abide by the Code of Ethics, and carry out their professional duties and responsibilities effectively. They must be someone who places a high level of importance on carrying out their duties with integrity and sincerity.

Corporate Secretarial checker

Appointing Your Company Secretary in Malaysia

Your first Company Secretary must be appointed at the time of your Malaysia company incorporation. The Company Secretary will then be responsible for submitting your incorporation documents, which includes Form 49 to the SSM upon which they must submit their name. The Registrar of Companies will record the name of this person within a month after they have received the forms.

If you’re running a much smaller business and you don’t necessarily have the resources to hire a full-time Company Secretary, there is still a solution. You can outsource your company secretarial services. You can engage the services of a professional firm – like Paul Hype Page – whose Corporate Secretarial Services package will be more than sufficient for your business needs.

Terminating the Services of a Malaysia Company Secretary

The company director is within their rights to terminate the services of a Company Secretary if they are not satisfied with the individual’s performance. They can terminate the services and appoint a new secretary to replace the previous one. The company’s board of directors can terminate a company secretary at any time they deem is necessary.