Company Secrataries

Company Secretaries are certified professionals who are responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of a company. They take care of administrative affairs and legal matters and make sure that the company meets all the statutory and regulatory requirements. They are representatives of the company and work towards minimizing the gap between the management and the shareholders. Company Secretaries have multi faceted jobs and they ensure that the decisions made by the Board of Directors are implemented and followed.

According to the Indian Law, any company with a paid up share capital of Rs. 5 crore or more has to appoint a whole time Company Secretary. Also, companies who have a paid up share capital of Rs. 10 lakh or more, but less than Rs. 5 crore, need to obtain a ‘Compliance Certificate’ from a Company Secretary in whole time practice.

The above requirements make Company Secretaries extremely important for any business organization. Choosing this as a career option is extremely beneficial and lucrative, as almost every big company requires a Company Secretary. There are a lot of opportunities for Company Secretaries today as the total number of Company Secretaries in India is today is lesser than the amount that is required. Therefore, the profession is expected to grow at a steady rate. It is a well paid job and Company Secretaries are hired by a variety of companies, including public sector and private companies. Some are also hired by the Government. A lot of Company Secretaries choose to work as freelancers and offer their services to a number of companies at the same time.


What do Company Secretaries do?

Company Secretaries serve as an essential link between the different facets of an organization, including the management, the shareholders, the authorities and the Government. They give advice to the top management on all matters, including financial regulations and legal framework. They make sure that the company functions in a legally correct manner.

One of the main jobs of a Company Secretary is to organize and administer company meetings. They send out schedules, book rooms and look after other essential details of meetings. They are heavily involved in setting the agendas and schedules of the meeting. They are often involved in taking the ‘minutes of the meeting’.

One of the most important tasks that a Company Secretary performs is to make sure that the decisions and procedures of the Board are followed in the right manner. They are often involved in advising the Board of Directors of the company regarding their duties, responsibilities and powers.

Company Secretaries are responsible for maintaining membership records of the company. This is primarily applicable to companies that are funded by the public in the form of shares. They are also responsible for maintaining and looking after other statutory books such as registers of directors etc.

An essential task that Company Secretaries perform is to create and maintain an effective communication network with the shareholders. It is their job to make sure that the shareholders have a clear idea of what is discussed in the meetings and what are the conclusions that are drawn upon. They often write reports that are sent out to the shareholders. They are also responsible for paying dividends to the shareholders.

Company Secretaries monitor changes in the regulations of authorities and laws that can affect the business and functioning of the company. They keep themselves updated about all such developments and accordingly advise the management of the company to make changes in their functioning and policy making.

They are also responsible for developing and maintaining systems that ensure the applications of codes and laws within the organization. They aim to develop systems that are responsible for making sure that all legal, financial and regulatory requirements of the company are being met at all times.

Company Secretaries play a major part in handling mergers, share issues and takeovers of companies. They make sure that all legal requirements are met and the procedure has been carried out while keeping all the regulatory and financial regulations in mind.

They are also responsible for signing and verifying the annual/quarterly returns of the company. No public company can file their returns without them being signed by a Company Secretary. They are also involved in issuing ‘Compliance Certificates’ to companies who have a paid up share capital of more than Rs. 10 lakh but less than Rs. 5 crores.


How to become a Company Secretary?

Company Secretaries are very important people in any company. They are integral parts of the corporate management teams and are the main driving force behind motivating a company to follow ethical and legal regulations. Becoming a Company Secretary is not easy, but a genuine interest in the field combined with a will to work hard can make you really successful.

You should ideally choose the Commerce stream after your 10th class and focus on subjects like Accounts, Economics and Business Studies.

To become a registered Company Secretary in India, you have to complete three stages and pass their respective exams that together comprise the Company Secretary course offered by The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). The three stages of the course include the Foundation Program, the Executive program and the Professional Program. To enroll yourself in any course, you will have to meet the eligibility criteria and be registered with the ICSI.

You can choose to join the course offered by the ICSI right after your school or even after your graduation. If you choose to join the course right after school, you will have to enroll yourself in the 8 month Foundation program. Once you complete that, you can move on to the Executive Program and then finally the Professional Program. You will only become a registered Company Secretary when you pass your Professional program examinations.

Another route through which you can become a Company Secretary is to join the ICSI Company Secretary course after your graduation. If you complete your graduation in any subject other than Fine Arts, then you will not have to enroll yourself in the ‘Foundation program’. You can directly be a part of the Executive Program. Once you complete the Executive Program and pass the examinations, you will have to join the Professional Program. You will become a registered Company Secretary once you pass your Professional program examinations.

Please note that if you choose to become a Company Secretary right after school, you will save two years of your education as the Foundation program is an 8 month program after which you will be eligible for the Executive program. Alternatively, your graduation will take 3 years to complete. You will only be eligible for the Executive program if you haven’t done the Foundation course, if you have completed your graduation. This does not necessarily mean that pursuing a Graduate degree before joining the ICSI course is a bad option. It can be very beneficial if you join courses related to the field of law and finance.

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) offer a B.Com. degree with Major in Corporate Affairs and Administration exclusively for Company Secretaryship students. This provides students who join the ICSI course right after their schooling to enroll themselves in a Graduate degree (distance course) that has overlapping topics with the ICSI course. You can also choose to pursue a post graduate course in Business Policy and Corporate Governance offered by the ICSI and IGNOU during your Company Secretary studies.

Once you complete your Professional Level course (or complete the Executive Program) from the ICSI, you will need to undergo a 15 month practical training program with companies and Company Secretaries in practice registered with the ICSI for imparting training. There are provisions through which you can be exempted from this training provided that you meet the necessary requirements.

After you complete your training, you can become an Associate Member of the ICSI and can use the letters ACS before your name and start practicing. Once you meet the other eligibility requirements, you can become a fellow member of the ICSI and use the letters FCS before your name.

Afterwards, you can choose to pursue Post membership qualification courses and certificate courses offered by the ICSI to specialize in subjects like Corporate Governance, Corporate Restructuring and insolvency and Banking compliance and valuation. Please note that you will be only eligible for these courses if you are members of the ICSI.



To become a Company Secretary, you need to pass the three levels of exams from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). The first level is an 8 month foundation program. You do not need to enroll yourself in the Foundation course if you’re a graduate in any field except Fine Arts. You can directly move on to the next level, i.e. the Executive Program. Once you’ve completed the Executive Program and passed in the corresponding examinations, you will have to complete a 15 month practical training with companies and Company Secretaries in practice registered with the ICSI for imparting training. After this, you will complete the Professional Program of the ICSI on completion of which you will be a certified Company Secretary and can start your practice. ICSI’s Company Secretary Course is a distance education program and there are no regular classes.


What are the skills required to become a Company Secretary?

Company Secretaries are people who have a strong knowledge base in a variety of fields including Law, Management and Accountancy. They need to have excellent communication skills as they have to deal with a vast number of people. They should be organized and have very good time – management skills. It is important for Company Secretaries to be honest, professional and discrete when it comes to confidential information regarding the company. They should have the ability to concentrate on details and keep a track of the bigger picture at the same time. Company Secretaries need to be able to meet deadlines and make quick decisions. They should have analytical and numerical ability. They are required to be confident and be thorough with their work as there is no scope for mistakes. Most importantly, Company Secretaries should have the ability to look after the interests of various people involved in a company, including the owners, the authorities, the shareholders and the employees.


Is this the right career for me?

Company Secretaries have normal jobs and work for regular hours. They are often required to travel for meetings and conferences. It is a job that involves constant learning and a lot of responsibility. The job of a Company Secretary can be very well paying if you have the right aptitude. On the other hand, the job can be monotonous as it requires one to do the same things every day.

This is the right career for you if you’re looking for a career that will provide you with excellent growth opportunities and financial stability, and if you’re comfortable in dealing with numbers and legal issues.

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