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When it comes to the efficient administration of your company, the role of a company secretary cannot be overemphasized.
One of the essential pillars of any company’s corporate governance framework, a company secretary ensures that your company operates as per the law.
Are company secretaries mandatory in Hong Kong?
According to the Companies Ordinance, you cannot register a Hong Kong company unless you appoint a company secretary.
You cannot list the company on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange if you don’t appoint a qualified company secretary.
What are the functions of a company secretary and how are they appointed?
A company secretary is responsible for maintaining the record of all the statutory documents of a company and taking care of compliance requirements such as preparing and filing the annual returns, recording the appointments and resignations of directors, and conducting the issue and transfer of shares.
As per Hong Kong laws, the director or shareholder of a company cannot perform a company secretary’s role.
You need to appoint a qualified company secretary who is registered with the Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries and fulfills the other eligibility conditions under the Companies Ordinance.
Needless to say, a company secretary is extremely vital to the governance and management of a company.
Why opting for digital company secretaries is a good idea?
Traditionally, company secretaries operate out of brick-and-mortar offices.
As a result, they are only accessible by phone or email.
Even if you need a simple document such as a copy of your business registration certificate, you will need to wait for it to get delivered to your office or arrange a visit to pick it up.
As Hong Kong is increasingly becoming the preferred hub for doing business by investors worldwide, there is a greater need to access information quickly to stay on top of your compliance obligations.
That’s why using a digital company secretarial service is better for your business.
Here are five reasons for having a digital company secretary:
1. Instant access
Most digital company secretarial service providers work on a cloud-based platform.
This ensures no lengthy or unnecessary email exchanges when you need to lookup any document urgently.
It also reduces the chances of important requests slipping through the crack — thanks to the streamlined operations, you can get help from your company secretary in real-time, without getting caught up in an endless loop of emails or phone calls.
2. Increased efficiency
Unlike physical company secretaries, a digital company secretary doesn’t have to skim through heaps of paperwork to locate a single document.
Since the records are digitized, everything is available with a single click — whether you need the bank statements, incorporation documents, or even corporate resolutions.
Apart from reducing the turnaround time, it also allows the company secretary to discuss any specific concerns you may have regarding your company’s statutory compliance.
Most digital company secretaries in Honk Kong follow a SaaS pricing model.
You will usually find different pricing packages, such as paying a one-time fee for the mandatory services and opting for a subscription fee package for the rest of the services.
With physical company secretaries, the final invoice may include unexpected surcharges or add-on charges, increasing the overall cost for you.
In contrast, a digital company secretary’s pricing model is clearly specified along with a detailed break up of the price of every possible corporate action.
As a result, there are no last-minute surprises sprung on you every time an invoice is raised.
4. Meeting compliance timelines
Hong Kong is facing a shortage of company secretaries.
Relying on physical secretaries can result in missing important timelines for completing compliance work.
Also, remember that you may end up paying penalties for delayed filing.
Given that a digital company secretary’s operations are entirely automated, the chances of missing deadlines are almost negligible.
5. Better communication with all stakeholders
A company secretary in Hong Kong plays a crucial role in communicating with various stakeholders of the corporate ecosystem.
These include external participants (such as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the Inland Revenue Department, and the Companies Registry) and internal participants (such as directors or other officers of the company).
Since digital company secretaries leverage technology in their day-to-day operations, it ensures seamless communication with all the players.
It also minimizes the touchpoints and saves the unnecessary waste of time.
A company secretary is not just a cog in the wheel — they are the wheels on which your company moves forward.
That’s why choosing the right company secretary is a high-priority item on every entrepreneur’s checklist.
Working with a digital company secretary is the smarter way of doing business in Hong Kong. Looking for someone to help you with corporate secretarial services?
With Air Corporate by your side, you can focus on your business while we take care of the rest. Speak with a member of our experienced team and learn how we can help you.
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