What is a Company Secretary? and how to become one?

The Company Secretary is the Key Personnel in the company, who is a statutory appointment to ensure that the organization complies with all legal and regulatory requirements as per the Company Law.

Company secretaries are the company’s named representatives on legal documents. They have to register and communicate with the shareholders. They will maintain the lists of Directors and shareholders and ensures that dividend is paid regularly to the share holders.

The roles and responsibilities of a company secretary −

  • The Company Secretary is responsible for conducting the Board of Director's Meeting and preparation of Annual Performance Report on the advice of Directors of the company.

  • He also issues notice and agenda of board meetings to every director of the company and records the minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of the directors.

  • Company Secretary files the documents with the registrar of companies.

  • Not only internal board Meetings, but Company Secretary also hold the Share Holder's meetings which is one of the important jobs of a Company secretary. If the company is a public limited company, the Job is more challenging as there will be thousands of public who are the share holders of the company.

  • Company Secretary should be the linking factor for shareholders and Company Management. He is the in charge of Public Grievance Redressal committee.

  • Company Secretary is responsible for the filing of various documents/returns as required under the provisions of the Companies Law, and also proper maintenance of books and registers of the company as required under the provisions of the Companies Law.

  • He is responsible to check the legal requirements of the allotment, issuance, and transfer of share certificates, mortgages, and charges, have been complied with.

How to become a Company Secretary

The INSTITUTE OF COMPANY SECRETARIES OF INDIA (ICSI) holds the charter to grant CS. ICSI is a government recognized organization which has the right to issue the COMPANY SECRETARY course and certificate.

This decides the curriculum and the required cut-off in the exams to be certified and qualified as the company secretary.

A company secretary has various opportunities. You can either set up your own practice as a consultant to different companies, or you can be employed by a company as a full-time employee.

The CS Program

There are three different programs to get qualified as CS −

  • Foundation program
  • Executive program
  • Professional program

The students who are willing to do the COMPANY SECRETARY course right after their 10+2 have to go through these 3 programs and then they need to attend 15 months long Internship with the specified entities to become a certified Company Secretary.

Foundation program − This is 8 months long and can be pursued by students with a background of arts, commerce and science streams. This is for the students who have just completed their 10+2.

Executive program − The executive program can be pursued by any students except with fine arts background who have completed their graduation.

Professional program − This is the final program of CS course and needs to be cleared in order to become an associate company secretary in the ICSI which is followed by further training for 15 months.

Admission for the company secretary course is held throughout the year and exams are held twice a year (JUNE & DECEMBER).