One question all business owners have considered at one point, would be the question of whether it’s more economically wise to invest in self hiring corporate secretaries, or to hire an external corporate secretarial service provider. The merits of both procedures are each compelling, but what would be better? Here are some factors to consider:
The skill set of a corporate secretary is important, regardless of whether you are self hiring corporate secretaries or making use of a corporate secretary service provider. By self hiring a corporate secretary, you will be required to detail and make a list of what requirements you wish to have them meet. This could be difficult if you are unsure of what exactly to look for. Whereas when it comes to making use of a corporate secretary service provider, the hassle of doing so is saved since these service providers are usually experienced and professional enough to appoint a corporate secretary that best fulfills general requirements.
Corporate secretaries are expected to be able to provide a wide range of services including: meeting compliance/reporting requirements, updating/filing with ACRA, statutory register maintenance, AGM document preparation, meeting minutes preparation, providing legal advice, assisting with procedures like restructuring/cessation and more. Depending on the corporate secretarial service provider you sign up with, certain service providers do not provide add on services beyond the basics. Whereas when you hire your own corporate secretary, they are expected to fulfill all requirements and provide the relevant services.
The process of hiring a corporate secretarial service provider is often a lot more straightforward since the experienced service provider is more than willing to guide business owners through the process. However, since there is no stipulation from ACRA that all corporations have to hire corporate secretarial service providers, corporations can choose to self hire others as long as they qualify for the role of a corporate secretary.
When self hiring however, there are certain things to take note. Public companies are required to hire corporate secretaries that are registered filing agents. The corporate secretary will need to submit an application to ACRA to become a qualified individual before corporations can legally appoint them. Private corporations are able to appoint anyone with a valid SingPass as long as they are experienced and qualified.
One of the clear benefits when it comes to self hiring a corporate secretary would be that companies can get more done in a shorter amount of time since everything is handled internally. Hiring a corporate secretarial service provider usually means you will have to take the time to liaise with the external firm, which can be quite time consuming if you have a lot of matters to address and clarify.
In terms of cost and expenses, self hiring a corporate secretary for your corporation can allow your corporation to save up on fees, since this could be counted on a salary basis. Whereas if your corporation decides to hire a corporate secretarial service provider, you will be prompted to pay either on an annual basis or on a monthly basis. There is also the factor to consider that there may be add on fees, if you require other services combined with what they provide.
Though a good recommendation to keep an eye out on would be when corporate secretarial services come up with different payment packages. Select the one closest to your needs and negotiate for add on services if there is a requirement, you may also find that certain corporations prefer sending you quotations or charge you upfront depending on their business practise. There are also some who regularly offer discounted rates for corporations if they fit certain requirements.
Ultimately, these are some of the factors you should be considering. Depending on what you prioritise, hiring a corporate secretarial service provider can actually be more beneficial instead. Whereas self hiring corporate secretaries come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages as well.