In Hong Kong, a company secretary plays a vital role in ensuring a company’s smooth operation and compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Companies Ordinance governs the appointment and qualifications of a company secretary in Hong Kong.

According to the Companies Ordinance, a company secretary can be an individual or a corporate entity. However, specific qualifications and conditions must be met regardless of the type of appointment.

Who can be a company secretary in Hong Kong? For an individual to be eligible as a company secretary in Hong Kong, they must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Legal Capacity: The individual must be at least 18 years old and not be an undischarged bankrupt or convicted of any criminal offenses related to dishonesty.
  • Residency: The company secretary must be a resident of Hong Kong. They can be a Hong Kong permanent resident, a Hong Kong resident holding a valid employment visa, or a company incorporated in Hong Kong.
  • Professional Qualifications: The company secretary should possess the necessary knowledge and experience to fulfill the role. There are no specific qualifications mandated by law, but many companies prefer candidates who are members of professional bodies such as The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (HKICS) or The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).
  • Availability: The company secretary must be able to fulfill their duties diligently, ensuring compliance with statutory obligations and maintaining proper records.

Corporate entities, such as accounting or secretarial firms, can also act as company secretaries if they meet the necessary qualifications and have the expertise to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

It is important to note that the appointment of a company secretary should be notified to the Companies Registry within 14 days of the work or change. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in penalties or legal consequences.

Overall, the role of a company secretary is critical in Hong Kong, and ensuring that the appointed individual or entity meets the prescribed qualifications is essential to maintain corporate governance and compliance with regulatory requirements.

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