Nov 03, 2017
One of the more bring aspects of business is the bureaucracy. We exist in a society of laws and compliance with these takes time and money.
We will leave aside the arguments for and against ‘light touch’ regulation and rather mention things a company secretarial service can do for you.
In practice this can mean two things:
1. That which a Company Secretary does for your company: help it comply with it legal obligations.
2. That which a normal secretary can do for your company: composing letters, sending invoices, arranging meetings, etc.
The boss traditionally hires a secretary because he needs someone to take a load of boring and unprofitable work off his back; basically, the paperwork.
BEWARE: the reason some companies grow fat, stupid and then fail is because the staffing gets out of hand (expensive) and clear, quick, correct decisions can’t be made (disastrous).
However, a dynamic boss who is successful finds he needs an assistant; someone who is a bit of a nerd and makes sure that the big contract which he negotiated so successfully actually gets printed, signed and posted before the deadline. That is not what a Company Secretary does.
Here is a list of that which a Company Secretary does. You may not wish to let your PA or girl-friday do it. It depends on their level of education. It’s not rocket science but it’s not work for a feather-head either.
If your personal secretary forgets to send an invoice at the end of the month, that is easily remedied. If she forgets to see that your annual Confirmation Statement is submitted correctly and on time, that can result in a fine and an error in the permanent, online record or your company’s returns at Companies House; this looks bad to investors.
Company Secretary duties:
– Maintaining the statutory registers of directors, shareholders, trustees, secretaries and related paperwork;
– Company incorporations;
– Maintaining the Registered Office and Director’s Service Address as a venue for receipt of letters from HMRC and Companies House;
– Acting on the contents of said statutory letters;
– Preparing and filing Confirmation Statements;
– Completion and filing of other Companies House forms;
– Preparing resolutions;
– Editing company details at Companies House, online;
– Provision of basic legal or VAT advice;
– Attendance at directors’ and members’ meetings.
This isn’t really work for someone with a GCSE-level education, unless that person is quite bright.
What catches small businesses out is the deadlines; the boss leaves the returns until seven days before the deadline and then realises that he can’t log into the Companies House website because he doesn’t have the requisite Authentication Code.