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Company Secretary in Malaysia Requirement

All registered businesses in Malaysia must appoint a corporate secretary. Company secretaries play a critical role in a company, and their duties go beyond just preparing paperwork or performing the basic jobs of a regular secretary. They are highly versatile and serve as an advisor to the company.

To become a company secretary in Malaysia, the individual needs to meet the Companies Act’s qualification requirements. This article guides you through what you need to know about a corporate secretary’s requirements in Malaysia.

What Are The Qualifications To Become A Corporate Secretary in Malaysia?

To become a company secretary in Malaysia, an individual must have a least one of the following qualifications:

  • A member of a professional firm or body prescribed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Trade
  • A chartered accountant registered with the Malaysian Institute Accountants or MIA
  • A chartered accountant registered under the MAICSA or the Malaysian Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
  • A licensed company secretary with a license from the CCM or Company Commission of Malaysia
  • An attorney registered with the Malaysian Bar or other relevant bodies

    Other criteria a person needs to fulfil to become a good company secretary in Malaysia include:

  • Must be at least eighteen years old and above. Any individual under the legal age limit will be disqualified.
  • Must be knowledgeable and has a keen interest in company regulations and governance.
  • Must have a keen eye on details.
  • Must be able to work well with people at every level
  • Must be able to write clearly and communicate fluently since he or she will act as a communication channel between the shareholders and the director
  • Must be proficient in processing high volumes of information
  • Must be trustworthy as he or she will handle various confidential information
  • Must be residing in the country
  • Must adhere to the Code of Ethics and perform their professional duties efficiently
  • Must carry out the duties with sincerity and integrity
  • What Are The Duties Of A Corporate Secretary?

    Corporate secretaries in Malaysia carry various roles and responsibilities in an organisation. In addition to managing the company operations efficiently, they are responsible for ensuring the company meets every statutory and compliance regulation. If a misinterpretation, conflict of interest, or malpractice occurs, they need to offer strict guidance as per the relevant laws and regulations.

    Other roles and responsibilities of Malaysia company secretaries include:

  • Preparing and filing the companies annual returns.
  • Take on the advisory role and make sure the secretarial records are maintained properly. They will advise the board on nearly every business matter.
  • Managing and organising an AGM or annual general meeting at least once every calendar year. They also need to handle the minutes of the board meetings and prepare the meeting’s agenda.
  • Be familiar with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the regulating agencies.
  • Make sure the company abides by all the processes required by the Companies Act.
  • Ensure any changes the company undergoes be duly completed according to the prescribed forms within the set time frame.
  • Ensure every board member’s interest are well-protected
  • Updating and maintaining every statutory paperwork and book of the company.
  • Appointing A Company Secretary in Malaysia

    The company must appoint its first corporate secretary at the time of its incorporation. The company secretary will be responsible for submitting its incorporation documents, including Form 49 with the SSM, wherein he or she needs to submit his or her name. The Registrar of Companies will record the name within one month upon receiving the form. Small businesses that do not have a sufficient budget to hire a full-time corporate secretary can opt for company secretarial services in Malaysia.

    Suppose the company directors are unsatisfied with the performance of their current company secretary. In that case, they have the right to terminate the secretary’s services at any time they deem necessary and appoint a new corporate secretary to replace the previous ones.

    Choosing The Right Company Secretarial Services Provider in Malaysia

    Apart from qualifications, businesses should look into the company secretarial services firm’s range of services and pricing structure. Some firms offer premium charges but do not cover all services the company may need, while others may charge according to the services selected. Other fees they need to watch out for include the cancellation charge, statutory fee, renewal fee and expected increase in charges each year. Business owners should also ask whether they will get a dedicated company secretary.

    Other factors to consider are the firms’ industry expertise and years of experience. Since company secretaries are mainly responsible for filing and monitoring due dates and critical deadlines, the firm should be known for its reliability and timeliness. Late filing and submissions of necessary documents will put the company at risk of penalties, fines, and reputation loss.