Corporate secretaries oversee regulatory responsibilities of corporations. This involves assisting the board of directors in understanding and meeting all applicable regulatory issues, ensuring the corporation operates within the bounds of the law. Corporate secretaries are ultimately responsible for the legal filings of corporations, such as disclosures to shareholders, annual and quarterly earnings and account information, and tax obligations. They consult with board members and make recommendations regarding policies necessary to meet corporate responsibilities. They may (along with their staff) organize board meetings, set agendas, and review materials for accuracy before distribution to the board.
Corporate secretaries work full time in an office environment; however, as they are responsible for a key part of corporate governance, they may frequently work longer hours to meet deadlines for document filings. These professionals interact with individuals at many levels of a corporation, including members of the board of directors, other department heads, their own staff, and others; with information from colleagues, they ensure all legal obligations are met, research and analyze issues, and make reports on their findings. Additionally, they work with regulators to keep up to date on regulatory changes and ensure corporate responsibilities are completely met.
Corporate secretaries are typically required to hold a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field. They must have significant experience (generally five or more years) in corporate governance or corporate law. In some cases, they may be required to hold a paralegal certification to make corporate filings.
Corporate Secretary Tasks
Maintain attorney or lawyer calendars, corporate minute books and time entry, transactional documents, and contacts.
Coordinate meetings and make travel arrangements.
Proofread, prepare, and file documentation.