A Company Secretary is a senior position in a private sector company or public sector organisation, normally in the form of a managerial position or above. In large American and Canadian publicly listed corporations, a company secretary is typically named a Corporate Secretary or Secretary.
The Company Secretary is responsible for the efficient administration of a company, particularly with regard to ensuring compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and for ensuring that decisions of the Board of Directors are implemented.
Despite the name, the role is not a clerical or secretarial one in the usual sense. The company secretary ensures that an organisation complies with relevant legislation and regulation, and keeps board members informed of their legal responsibilities. Company secretaries are the company’s named representative on legal documents, and it is their responsibility to ensure that the company and its directors operate within the law. It is also their responsibility to register and communicate with shareholders, to ensure that dividends are paid and to maintain company records, such as lists of directors and shareholders, and annual accounts.
In many countries, private companies have traditionally been required by law to appoint one person as a company secretary, and this person will also usually be a senior board member.[