Unveiling the Truth About Corporate Secretarial Services: Clearing Up Misunderstandings for SMEs
Corporate Secretary

Unveiling the Truth About Corporate Secretarial Services: Clearing Up Misunderstandings for SMEs

You’ve heard the rumours and myths about corporate secretarial services. They’re expensive. They’re only for large companies. They handle mundane paperwork and what not. Some business owners argue that they do not require a full-time company secretary. Some people even believe that hiring a secretary is a waste of money. Yes, there are a few misunderstandings regarding this profession moving around the industry.

It’s all true, right? Wrong. As an SME owner, it’s time to clearing up misunderstandings and uncover the truth about corporate secretarial services. They can save you time and money. They provide essential support for companies of any size. And they do much more than just push paper.

Corporate secretarial services offer strategic guidance and expertise to help your business thrive. Don’t get left behind clinging to outdated misconceptions. Discover how a corporate secretarial service partner can elevate your company to new heights. Open your mind to the possibilities. This may just be one of the smartest business decisions you make this year.


Myth #1: Corporate Secretarial Services Are Only for Large Companies

Don’t believe the myths – corporate secretarial services aren’t just for big companies. As large corporations do utilize corporate secretarial services, small and medium-sized businesses can benefit even more from their expertise. As an SME, you likely have limited resources and time to dedicate to administrative and compliance responsibilities. A corporate secretarial service can handle the necessary filings, records management, and reporting for you so you can focus on running your business.

Let the truth be told, corporate secretarial services are for companies of all sizes. As an SME, don’t deny yourself the benefits. The support and guidance provided can be invaluable in helping your business thrive.


Myth #2: Corporate Secretarial Services Are Too Expensive for SMEs

Don’t believe the myth that corporate secretarial services are only for big companies with huge budgets. As an SME, you can absolutely benefit from professional corporate secretarial support without breaking the bank.

Secretarial services are scalable. You only pay for what you need. If you require basic compliance and filing, the fees will be lower than a large, complex company. Reputable firms offer packages tailored to companies of all sizes. DIY corporate secretarial work is risky. Making mistakes can lead to penalties, extra fees, and legal issues. Professionals have the expertise and experience to handle compliance accurately and efficiently. Their fees may save you money in the long run.

Secretarial services save you time. As an SME owner, your time is valuable. Outsourcing corporate secretarial tasks allows you to focus on growing your business. The hours you save can be spent on strategic priorities. For SMEs, secretarial services provide essential support and peace of mind so you can get on with doing what you do best. The truth is, they are more affordable and valuable than you might think.


Myth #3: In-House Corporate Secretaries Are Cheaper Than Outsourcing

You may think hiring an in-house corporate secretary will save you money, but there are many hidden costs to consider. When you factor in the total cost of employment salary, benefits, training, office space, and more, in-house staff can end up costing significantly more than outsourcing.

  • The average salary for an in-house corporate secretary in Singapore is $3,500 to $5,000 per month. Add in bonuses, insurance, paid time off and other benefits, and the total compensation can be 30-50% higher than the base salary.
  • Hiring a new employee requires advertising the role, screening candidates, conducting interviews, and onboarding the new hire. This process can cost $5,000-$15,000 per employee.
  • You’ll need to provide your in-house corporate secretary with a dedicated workspace, computer, phone, and other tools to do their job. The annual cost for office space and equipment in Singapore averages $10,000-$15,000 per employee.
  • Corporate secretarial rules and best practices are constantly changing. To keep an in-house staff member up-to-date with the latest regulations and procedures requires ongoing investment in training and education at $2,000-$5,000 per year.

In-house corporate secretaries may seem cheaper on the surface, the total cost of employment frequently makes outsourcing the more budget-friendly option, especially for small and mid-size companies.


Myth #4: They Do Not Add Value to My Business

As an SME owner, you may think that corporate secretarial services are an unnecessary expense that does not directly contribute to your bottom line. However, this is a myth. Professional corporate secretarial firms actually add significant value to your business in many ways.

Corporate secretaries help ensure your company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements. Failure to do so can result in hefty penalties, legal issues, and damage to your reputation. Secretaries keep your business compliant and minimize risks. It gives you peace of mind knowing your compliance and administrative obligations are in good hands. You have a trusted partner managing critical responsibilities, reducing stress and risks for you as a business owner.

Secretaries also provide administrative support that saves you time and money. Tasks like preparing and filing annual returns, managing shareholder meetings, and handling various filings and registrations are efficiently handled by secretaries. This allows you to focus on growing your business. While corporate secretarial fees may seem like an extra cost, the value they provide through their services far outweighs any upfront expenses.


Myth #5: My Accountant or Auditor Can Handle Corporate Secretarial Matters

Accountants and auditors play an important role in managing a company’s financials, they typically do not have expertise in corporate secretarial matters. Corporate secretaries, on the other hand, specialize in ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Accountants are primarily focused on bookkeeping, financial reporting and tax filing. They track income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Auditors examine financial records to verify their accuracy and check for anomalies. They evaluate internal controls and compliance with accounting standards. On the other hand, corporate secretaries stay up-to-date with changes in business legislation and governance requirements. They maintain statutory registers, organize board meetings and file necessary documents with government agencies. All three roles are far different from each other and stand on the different banks of river. For most SMEs, outsourcing to a professional corporate secretarial firm is the most effective way to meet all legal obligations and governance requirements.


Myth #6: You Need a Company Secretary Only till Incorporation of the Company

This is a common misconception among SME owners. In reality, a company secretary plays an important role well beyond just helping set up your company. Their responsibilities continue for the lifetime of your business.

A company secretary ensures your company complies with all legal requirements on an ongoing basis. They keep track of periodic filings, renewals and changes in regulations to avoid penalties. They provide guidance on good governance practices and advise the board on their responsibilities and duties. Accurate record keeping is essential for any company. Company secretaries maintain important records like minutes of board meetings, registers of members, directors and secretaries. They plan and conduct important meetings like annual general meetings and board meetings. They act as a bridge between the company, its members, regulators and other stakeholders.

Don’t make the mistake of discontinuing their services after incorporation. Retaining a company secretary will save you time, money and legal headaches in the long run.


Myth #7: Anyone can be a corporate secretary

As an SME owner, you may think that any member of your staff can take on the role of corporate secretary. After all, how hard can it be to file some paperwork and take a few minutes of meeting minutes? The truth is, the job requires specialized knowledge and experience to do properly.

A corporate secretary, also known as a company secretary, handles important compliance and governance matters for your business. They need to be familiar with relevant laws and regulations to help ensure your company meets all legal obligations. Things like preparing and filing annual returns, organizing board meetings, and maintaining statutory registers are only some of the key duties. Without the proper expertise, your company risks making costly mistakes, facing penalties, or damaging its reputation.

Appointing an unqualified person as corporate secretary could lead to important deadlines or filings being missed, inaccurate or incomplete meeting minutes and resolutions, failure to comply with listing rules and lawsuits from shareholders. It may seem convenient and budget-friendly to appoint an existing employee as corporate secretary, it is not worth the risks for your business. Seek out a qualified professional to handle this crucial role and give your company the good governance it deserves. Your business and shareholders will thank you for it.


Myth #8: Every Singapore-Incorporated Company Needs a Full-Time Secretary

Not all companies require a full-time secretary. You may have heard that to properly set up and maintain your company, you absolutely must hire a full-time corporate secretary. This is a myth, as some large corporations do employ dedicated secretarial staff, for most small to mid-size businesses, a full-time secretary is not necessary.

Outsourcing certain responsibilities to a corporate secretarial firm is also an option. Professional secretarial service providers can handle incorporation, acting as your named secretary, and carrying out ongoing compliance obligations on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Consider your priorities and how complex your business operations are before assuming you require a dedicated corporate secretary. Part-time staff or outsourcing on task basis can fulfil your company’s secretarial needs, often at a lower cost.


Myth #9: General Counselling is Not a Corporate Secretary’s Cup of Tea

As a business owner, you may think that corporate secretarial services are limited to routine compliance and administrative tasks. However, an experienced corporate secretary can provide valuable general counsel and advice on a range of issues.

  • They have a broad understanding of legal and regulatory frameworks that apply to companies. This means they can offer guidance on matters such as contracts, partnerships, and employee issues.
  • Corporate secretaries stay up-to-date with changes in business laws and regulations. They can advise you on the potential impacts of new rules on your company and ensure you remain compliant.
  • Discussions with a corporate secretary are protected by confidentiality. You can openly discuss sensitive issues and ask questions without concern that information will be shared elsewhere.
  • By providing initial counsel and advice, a corporate secretary can help you avoid potential legal issues or nip them in the bud. This can save you from spending significantly more on legal fees down the track.

Rather than limiting a corporate secretary’s role to administration and compliance, view them as a trusted advisor who can provide guidance on a range of business matters. Don’t fall for the misunderstandings, give your corporate secretary a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised.


Myth #10: Corporate Secretaries Aren’t Tech-Savvy and Not into Social Media

Don’t be fooled into thinking corporate secretaries aren’t keeping up with the times. While traditional secretarial duties like managing documents and schedules still apply, the role has modernized. Many corporate secretaries are digitally literate and actively use technology and social media to benefit their companies.

Corporate secretaries often leverage software like word processing, spreadsheets, and project management tools to work more efficiently. They may create templates, automate processes, and organize information to save time. Email, instant messaging, and video conferencing enable corporate secretaries to communicate quickly with colleagues, clients, and business partners around the world.

Don’t ignore the power of social media. While corporate secretaries typically aren’t directly posting on behalf of the company, many follow industry influencers and news platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up-to-date with trends. They can then apply this information to help improve internal operations and suggest new opportunities. So, you can feel confident that corporate secretarial services are equipped to handle the demands of today’s digital world.


Wrapping Up

The facts show that corporate secretarial services are not just a grudge expense but rather an investment that pays off through risk mitigation, compliance, and operational efficiency. They have the expertise and experience to do it accurately and efficiently, leaving you with more time and peace of mind to devote to your key business priorities. Don’t delay, speak to Company Incorporation Service provider today to learn how they can support your business goals and set you up for sustainable success. They provide packages ranging from amazing and complete one-stop solutions to a no-frills plan that meets your secretarial needs at an affordable cost. The benefits to your business are real, so take that first step now.


  • All Rights Reserved By Shane Goh & Associates | 2023