5 qualities to look for when choosing a company secretarial service provider in Hong Kong
The pressure of complying with the ever-evolving schedule of corporate legislative requirements in Hong Kong can be overwhelming. The pace of change is relentless, and corporate compliance obligations are only becoming more complex.
This evolution is necessary in ensuring companies operate safely and fairly. Yes, it’s a short-term inconvenience – but there are multiple benefits for your company in the long run.
Outsourcing your company secretarial functions to an expert provider can relieve your team of the time-consuming administrative burden of corporate compliance in the here and now. It can also reduce overheads by freeing up key staff to focus on the core functions of your business.
However, there is a caveat. Failing to meet statutory obligations can have severe legal, reputational and financial ramifications for your company. That is why partnering with an experienced, qualified and knowledgeable corporate secretarial service provider is so essential.
To help you find the right solution for your company, here are the top five qualities to look for when selecting a company secretarial services provider in Hong Kong.
01 Corporate governance qualifications and experience
In Hong Kong, every company must appoint a company secretary. This secretary must be either a resident of Hong Kong or a company whose registered office or principal place of business is in Hong Kong.
In private companies, a director may take on the role of company secretary, unless they are the sole director. Putting a director to work as your company secretary can initially be an attractive option from a cost perspective. However, as your company grows, so too do the corporate governance requirements.
This is why so many private companies choose to outsource their company secretarial duties, the role requires the specialist knowledge of a professional, but often doesn’t justify creating another role within the company. Although not a necessity, outsourcing is often the most efficient and cost effective option here.
For publicly listed companies, requirements regarding who can perform the company secretary role are stricter. The chosen person or company must either have suitable professional or academic qualifications or relevant experience to be acceptable under the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Listing Rules (“Listing Rules”).
The professional or academic qualifications considered ‘suitable’ under the Listing Rules include being:
- a member of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries;
- a solicitor or barrister under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance; or
- a certified public accountant under the Professional Accountants Ordinance.
Experience that is considered ‘relevant’ under the Listing Rules includes the proposed company secretary’s:
- length of employment in the company;
- previous company secretary roles;
- familiarity with the Listing Rules and other relevant laws;
- planned or completed relevant training (the minimum training required is 15 hours per financial year); and
- professional qualifications in other jurisdictions.
Clearly, experience and qualifications matter when choosing a corporate secretarial services provider. Our expert BoardRoom team has solid experience and members are all suitably qualified to proactively manage even the most complex corporate governance challenges.
02 In-depth local knowledge and global expertise
A company secretary with detailed knowledge of the local regulatory landscape is an invaluable asset to your company. Equally important is an understanding of the subtle nuances of local cultures, traditions and customs.
At the same time, if your company is international – or even global – you need a company secretary that is familiar with your international legal obligations who can work alongside your legal or compliance agent. The subtle changes in both law and best-practice throughout different regions can be too easily overlooked without the correct resources on your side. Engaging the right people could help you avoid financial implications, large or small.
The Corporate Secretarial team at BoardRoom brings together both in-depth local knowledge and international expertise. We can seamlessly guide your company across multiple markets while managing all of the cross-border complexities of tax, trade, currency conversion and contractual rules.
As your business grows, outsourcing non-core functions to a single corporate expert provider can save key staff members time and allow them to focus on business strategy and performance.
At BoardRoom, we offer a full range of corporate services all under one roof. We make it easier for you to get on with business while we take care of the time-consuming, operational tasks.
We can help you by accurately and efficiently:
- preparing income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements with our comprehensive accounting services;
- managing your corporate tax filing responsibilities;
- maintaining your share registry so that it operates smoothly and securely; and
- processing your company payroll, including payment instructions, generating salaries, statutory reports, bank payments and electronic payslips.
04 Dedicated, personalised customer care
An excellent company secretarial services provider will assign a dedicated company secretary for your organisation. This is essential to give you a single point of contact who understands the exact needs of your business.
Having a dedicated company secretary also reduces your risk of non-compliance. It is all too easy for an inexperienced company secretary to miss important corporate governance milestones. Non-compliance means costly penalties for your company.
You can feel confident working with the team at BoardRoom, knowing that we are dedicated to ensuring you meet all your compliance obligations in relation to corporate secretarial matters.
05 Ability to evolve with you as your company changes
What is your vision for the future of your company? If going public is on your agenda, your corporate secretarial services provider will need the expertise to guide you through Hong Kong’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.
Alternatively, suppose you are thinking of evolving your corporate structure. In that case, you need to be aware of the many specific compliance requirements involved. You also need to prepare for the significant administrative work needed to make the change happen.
Whichever direction you choose to take your company, look for a corporate secretarial services provider that offers an extensive range of corporate services. Only with this offering breadth can the provider adapt to your company’s changing needs and evolve with you.
Looking for quality company secretarial services in Hong Kong?
Save yourself from the worry and time-consuming nature of corporate compliance by outsourcing your company secretarial functions to our expert BoardRoom team.
We have a proven track record of helping companies, from large multinational corporations to fast-growing SMEs, to stay compliant. Ultimately, we will save you time and money by letting you get on with growing your business.
Get in touch with one of our specialists today to learn more about how they can help you with your company’s corporate secretarial and compliance needs.
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