Does your startup really need a company secretary?

When you’re trying to grow your startup, time is of the essence, but so are costs. While you want to reach out to as many investors as possible and look to build capital, you also want to keep costs as low as possible, so you can keep the profits rolling in.

All of this is time-sensitive because we all know the sheer number of startups that fail within a short amount of time, simply because they couldn't compete with the top dogs.

That might sound like a depressing line, but it’s a truth nonetheless. By doing your best to cover all bases as quickly and as cheaply as possible, you may just prosper. But, there’s also quality to think about.

You need to ensure that not only are bases covered, but they’re ticked, double-checked, and that they also comply with legislation. Just one small slip-up could see your business in serious hot water.

There is one job role which could help you to avoid that fate - the company secretary.

What does a company secretary do?

A company secretary is responsible for providing administrative support. This is specifically for the founder and directors of the company but they’re also responsible for ensuring all relevant legislation is covered.

In some cases, a company secretary may also provide guidance but the general list of duties is administrative-based.

Of course, without high-quality administration, it’s easy to miss an invoice, a deadline, or some other task that affects how smoothly or otherwise your business runs. If things get out of hand, you could easily lose customers, which will, in the end, lead to the failure of your business.

One of the key roles is ensuring that records are accurately kept, therefore complying with specific legislation and scheduling meetings to ensure the smooth running of the business.

For instance, you are legally required to update Companies House with any changes related to your equity. You are required to do this under the Company’s Act.

That means you need to update whenever new shares are issued if there are changes to your legal share register, changes to director details, and any changes to PSCs (People with Significant Control).

Do startups really need a company secretary?

Do you really need a company secretary or can you do without one?

It’s not a legal requirement to have a company secretary in a private company, however, if it is stated in your articles of association, then this is a legal requirement.

What we will say is don't underestimate the importance of administration within a startup. There is a lot of paperwork to complete, store, record, and handle.

Can founders complete the tasks required or someone else who already works within the business?

In theory, yes, but it’s far better to ensure your skills go where they are most needed. The same goes for anyone you delegate company secretary tasks to.

This is also a role that requires consistent record keeping and remaining up to date with many things - it’s not easy to do that when you have other jobs to complete too. 

Many founders also underestimate the amount of admin involved in running a startup. You may find that over time, you start to struggle and other things fall by the wayside. 

However, the tasks and responsibilities that a company secretary takes on seriously can impact shareholders and funding rounds. For that reason, place importance upon this role if you want to give your startup the best chance of success.

Regardless of who you choose to take on these duties, rest assured that there are tools out there to make their life easier. Speaking of...

How Vestd helps with company secretary duties

Vestd makes company secretary duties a whole lot easier and helps save heaps of time. Here's how:

  • Manage your shareholder information
  • Access an automatically updated digital cap
  • Create confirmation statements and store documents digitally
  • Issue ordinary shares and add new share classes
  • Create and sign share certificates
  • Update your company name or your directors’ details

All these features are available to our Launch customers.

Learn more about Launch.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you can see how much work goes into the company secretary role, and how it’s much easier to have one place to keep all of this ticking along.

We know that admin is not the most exciting job in the world, but without it, all manner of things can go wrong. You will not keep up to date with your legal requirements without having all your admin boxes ticked.

It’s easy to allow these tasks to fall on founders or other staff during the early days of a startup, but investing in a highly experienced and efficient company secretary could save time and money in the long run.

See how Vestd could make the running of your startup that much smoother.

Book a free discovery call today.