Most people who run a company do so with honourable intentions. They make every effort to comply with company law and put good corporate governance systems in place. But it can be a struggle to achieve compliance. Company law can sometimes seem like a labyrinth, where it’s easy to make a wrong turning. Under Irish law, all registered companies are required to appoint a company secretary, whose role is to help companies meet their compliance requirements. But many companies, especially small ones, don’t have the resources to employ a professionally qualified company secretary.
If your clients run small companies that list a family member as company secretary, or whose company secretaries also do 100 other tasks, they may benefit from appointing an outsourced professional company secretary, to handle annual compliance requirements and provide professional advice as and when required.
An outsourced professional company secretary will take away the burden of meeting compliance obligations. Also, because your client is hiring them based on need, clients can tailor the services they get from their company secretary to fit their budget. You may want to present the option of an outsourced professional company secretary if you don’t offer that service yourself.
Outsourced company secretarial services will help companies meet their core compliance requirements, including their statutory filings with the CRO and the preparation of paperwork for AGMs. Once your clients have approved their financial statements, the annual returns can be processed with the CRO. Companies can also avail of outsourced company secretarial services for one-off transactions such as share transfers or amendments to the constitution.
Companies with more complex compliance requirements can appoint a professional to act as their full-time company secretary. As well as the core compliance services, the company secretary will attend your board meetings and your AGMs and take minutes that accurately reflect what occurred during those meetings. They’ll monitor your clients on a day to day level to ensure they are complying with current company legislation.
The main value of an outsourced company secretary is that they will help your clients stay on track with their compliance deadlines. They will send out reminders to your clients regarding their returns with the CRO well in advance, which will give them time to prepare their returns. Once the company secretary receives the financial returns, all your client will have to do is approve them and sign the paperwork. Then the company secretary will make sure the returns are filed with the CRO within the deadline.
A good company secretary is organised, efficient and has the expertise your clients need to meet their compliance requirements. They will typically be professionals who are qualified in corporate governance, and they will use their in-depth knowledge to help your clients negotiate the labyrinth of company law. Above all, a company secretary will give you and your clients peace of mind that they won’t miss a compliance deadline and won’t have to pay heavy penalties. Your clients can just get on with the business of running their companies.
Corplaw's team of chartered company secretaries are here to help you. They’ll give you the benefit of their expertise at a very reasonable cost and they’ll guide your clients through every stage in the life of their companies, from formation to dissolution. If you’d like to find out more about how our company secretarial services can help ease your compliance burden, click here.