Corporations in Singapore are legally required to conduct a certain number of mandatory meetings, namely between shareholders and directors. As a business owner, keeping track and arranging for these mandatory meetings can be difficult; on account of all other pressing matters that requires attention. Yet failing to conduct these meetings can lead to serious repercussions. This is where having a Singapore corporate secretary can help out quite a lot.
Let’s start by understanding what an AGM is and why it is considered a legal requirement.
An AGM (Annual General Meeting) is a type of meeting conducted once each calendar year (or 15 months from the date of the corporation’s previous AGM) where the corporation’s financial statements are presented before its shareholders so that queries and discussions regarding the company’s financial position and future growth can be discussed. Transparency and credibility are values highly required by legal sectors; hence it has grown to become an ongoing compliance requirement in order to reduce risks of shady business practices. This is also highly recommended since major shareholders should be given a voice in terms of approving important business decisions as well. By ensuring that everyone is on the same page, it essentially fosters an environment of accountability.
Having a company secretary in Singapore is also yet another legal requirement corporations are required to adhere to after they have successfully established their own business. Ensuring that AGMs are conducted on a timely basis is considered one of the responsibilities of the singapore corporate secretary. The appointed company secretary can help do so in a variety of ways:
A seasoned singapore corporate secretary is well equipped with the knowledge and fully capable of assisting in the preparation of necessary documentation that is needed for the corporation to conduct an AGM. Depending on the corporation, the company secretary should be able to discern when standard M&AA (Memorandum & Articles of Association) provided by ACRA is used and when customised ones are used for specific needs. If information is to be provided by different sectors within the corporation, the singapore corporate secretary will contribute by collating the data and compiling them. This saves up time and ensures that the AGM can be conducted within a specified period of time, and business owners will not have to worry about any details missing since an experienced professional is handling it.
In the event that there are discrepancies or problems, the Singapore corporate secretary can also be trusted to bring it up to the business owner or consult the accountants and relevant parties for amendments.
Guidance can also be provided by the company secretary in establishing the agendas to be included within the AGM. Business owners can consult their advice in coming up with common agendas along with special agendas that will be discussed/approved during the meeting with the shareholders. Some examples of meeting agendas include the audited/unaudited corporate accounts, expense payments to directors and re-elections. The company secretary can also ensure that these agendas are sent out to the relevant parties as soon as possible so that everyone will come informed or point out other areas to discuss. Since the Singapore corporate secretary is clear on what is to be discussed during the general meeting, they can also assist with time keeping so that majority of the points of discussion will be touched on while ensuring that the meeting can end at the appropriate time.
A professional singapore corporate secretary will also be responsible in upholding a neutral tone while minute taking during the meeting. This helps all shareholders, directors and parties of the meeting be updated on what issues/agendas have been approved while ensuring that information will not run the risk of being misconstrued. The copies taken will also be presented in document copy to the relevant parties after the meeting has been conducted. In legal matters, these records can also be referred to whenever necessary. They can also be used as a refresher for the business owner in the process of proceeding with the approved plans.
After the AGM, the company secretary will ensure that legal filing requirements like the preparation of Annual return reports and other relevant reports are prepared. The company secretary can then notify ACRA of the corporation’s compliance by submitting an electronic copy of the company’s annual return on behalf of the company. The secretary can also be the individual to verify that all information are accurate as well as sufficient. This ensures that the reputation of the corporation can be maintained successfully without the business owner having to go through the trouble of checking all the time.
If certain circumstances prevent the corporation from being able to conduct their annual general meeting on a timely manner, the business owner can also take the time to consult their corporate secretary beforehand on what alternative solutions there are. The corporate secretary and business owner can then come up with a beneficial plan on how to best rectify the late meetings for future occurrences as well as what can be done to alleviate the current problems.
In conclusion, having a reputable company secretary in Singapore is a requirement for all business owners. Not only will they be able to oversee the smooth running of business processes, they can also serve to reduce the risks and work it takes to successfully conduct an AGM. Your Singapore corporate secretary is potentially one of your most valuable ally when it comes to ensuring that your business is in compliance to all legal requirements. Therefore, great care must be implemented when it comes to choosing your Singapore corporate secretary. Working hand in hand with your company secretary ensures that you are kept up to date on all pending tasks. Knowing what to expect can also in turn reduce confusion and stress, thereby improving your productivity on pressing corporate matters.
For more questions regarding the conducting of AGMs or hiring a competent Singapore corporate secretary, do contact relevant legal authorities or external corporate secretarial service providers locally!