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Why You Need a Company Secretary for Your Hong Kong Business

With Hong Kong being an economic powerhouse, incorporating a company in Hong Kong comes with a slew of privileges for entrepreneurs and foreign investors. First things first - you will need to register a company in Hong Kong, with one of the key requirements being the appointment of a company secretary.

For your information, if you need help with company secretary services in Hong Kong, we can help you with that. Whenever you need detailed advice, our experienced corporate secretaries have the necessary knowledge to focus and suggest a solution in Hong Kong.

Read on to find out more about a corporate secretary in Hong Kong.

What is a Company Secretary in Hong Kong?

According to Hong Kong's Companies Ordinance law, appointing a company secretary is a prerequisite for any business registered in Hong Kong. While the word "secretary" might conjure images of an employee picking up phones and making appointments, the company secretary has much more vital roles to play than the usual clerical work.

Think of this person as your business's representative whose main function is to make sure that the corporation and its operation is fully compliant with the statutory laws and regulations that fall under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance.

In a nutshell, this individual is responsible for the corporate governance of a company incorporated in Hong Kong.

Why does my company need to have a Company Secretary?

The company secretary's role extends beyond solely facilitating compliance. Here's why having a company secretary is imperative to your business:

You need one to register and operate your company

Having a company secretary is a must, there is no way around it. Without one, your company will not get registered under the regulations of the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance.

In the worst-case scenario, you can even be prosecuted for trying to operate without a corporate secretary.

It connects your company to the Hong Kong administration

When the Hong Kong administration wants to contact your business, they will do this through your company secretary. The company secretary is accountable for all the clarifications that government agencies require from the firm.

Company Secretaries make sure your company stays within the rules of doing business.

Specific policies and regulations are in place to guide Hong Kong's business operations. To better deal with the local corporate, fiscal and financial obligations, as well as to understand and comply with the law, a corporate secretary will be extremely helpful to the company.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a Company Secretary?

From administrative to managerial roles, the corporate secretary in Hong Kong is expected to execute a myriad of duties. Here are some of them:

Make sure the company is compliant with Companies Ordinance

A company secretary is the business’s representative. The main responsibility of this role is to make sure that the business and its operation is thoroughly compliant with the laws and regulations that fall under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance. In a nutshell, the company secretary’s role is significant to the administration, direction and corporate governance of a company in Hong Kong.

Maintain statutory books

The company's statutory books allow government agencies direct access in the event that specific documents are needed. For instance, if a government inspection is needed, the company secretary should have all necessary documents, like your Business Registration Certificate ready.

Report on the company's statutory changes

When there are any changes in the company, for example, a shareholder has reduced their number of shares, the corporate secretary must update the records. A company secretary needs to prepare the necessary documents, arrange them to be signed, and arrange for its filing.

Attend to other possible administrative matters

Other administrative duties can also be performed by your company secretary, including the application of Business Registration Certification or its renewal, or the assistance in starting the business's corporate bank account. The company secretary also keeps track of the latest developments in corporate governance practice to best advise the company’s board of directors.

Read: Getting your Business Registration Certificate

How to choose a Company Secretary for my company

A company secretary should be appointed from the date of incorporation, here’s a few tips on how to choose one.

To be a company secretary in Hong Kong, these conditions must be fulfilled:

  • For a natural person, he or she must be a resident based in Hong Kong
  • For a body corporate, the company must have its place of business or registered office in Hong Kong.  

What are the qualities a Company Secretary should have?

With a wide range of responsibilities that fall on a company secretary, the person you choose for the job is crucial.

Your ideal candidate should have certain fundamental qualities, including:

Operational competence

Since this person has to perform crucial tasks like advising directors on compliance, you should pick a competent company secretary to craft strategies vital to a company's success.

Corporate governance experience

As the company's corporate governance expert, the individual has to be professionally and formally trained in corporate governance. In addition, this person should keep abreast of the latest developments and changes in corporate governance and regulatory and compliance framework related to your business field.

A fluent communicator

This person should be an effective communicator since the core responsibilities of this role involve some form of communication at different levels. Thus, the company secretary must be able to liaise and convey information to other stakeholders including the directors, managers and investors.

I’m too busy to find a company secretary, where and how can I find one for my company?

We know how busy you can be, that’s why we’re here to lighten your load! At Osome, we provide company registration services in Hong Kong and take over the paperwork at an affordable rate. Think of your compliance in check, with deadlines tracked, documents filed, and questions answered daily.

You’re in good hands with us - our company secretaries are certified experts boasting over 10 years of experience.  Whenever you need detailed advice, for instance, if you require direction on the company structure, or want to evaluate the consequences of your decisions, we will be more than happy to help.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, your company's success is heavily dependent on the corporate secretary, especially when it comes to compliance with Hong Kong's government laws and regulations.

If you’re ready to incorporate a company in Hong Kong and would like to save yourself some headache, we’re here to assist! From registering your business, setting up the reporting, opening a business account online, to keeping your books in order thanks to our accounting services, we've got you all covered.

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