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Do you act as Company Secretary for clients?

Co sec role

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For the first time in years a client has asked us to act as Co Sec, I dont think any of our clients have a Co Sec anymore, that said we do all the filings for Companies House and so I guess we are acting as a Co Sec for them in an unofficial capacity.  Back in the distant past when it was obligatory we did used to be appointed as a matter of course.

Made me wonder if it would be legally better or worse if we were officially appointed Co Sec for clients, any thoughts?  

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By GW
02nd Apr 2019 09:43

Why would you want to take on the legal responsibility of being an officer of the company?

Does the client in question actually need a company secretary?

Why doesn't the client want to be company secretary themselves?

There is no problem with you completing the statutory filings on behalf of the directors.

Thanks (2)
02nd Apr 2019 09:43

This is something I never do. It turns you from being impartial adviser to an officer of the company with legal responsibilities.

Thanks (3)
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By pauld
02nd Apr 2019 09:56

Usually the client just wants to use your address as the registered office of the company, which is fine and many firms see this as way of charging an extortionate fee for the privilege. You probably do all the co sec work anyway so why do they want to appoint you? I would steer well clear as jon_giffey points out.

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to pauld
02nd Apr 2019 11:58

pauld wrote:

Usually the client just wants to use your address as the registered office of the company, which is fine and many firms see this as way of charging an extortionate fee for the privilege. You probably do all the co sec work anyway so why do they want to appoint you? I would steer well clear as jon_giffey points out.

What would you class as reasonable to charge to provide a registered office? (I think we may be undercharging)....

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to leicsred
02nd Apr 2019 12:56

Just Google what Mailboxes etc or a similar business are charging. I charge as much as them, and I've had no takers - thank goodness.

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to leicsred
02nd Apr 2019 14:18

We usually offer registered office facilities for free.

- it is convenient for us as Companies House and HMRC correspondence comes straight to us
- all those marketing communications from other accountants are received and 'filed accordingly' ;-)
- it makes the client that bit more sticky - to change accountants means they have to reprint stationery etc.

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By DJKL
to jon_griffey
02nd Apr 2019 14:45

And as a bonus you get a hallway with vast numbers of brass plates, all polished and gleaming, which passes on a message to prospective new clients that yours is a significant practice.

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By marks
03rd Apr 2019 01:00

We charge £10 + VAT per month for acting as registered office. We have about 30 clients use our office as registered address.

Also we provide co sec services to clients which includes
1. Preparation and submission of confirmation statement.
2. Preparation of dividend minutes and vouchers as appropriate.
3. Update Companies House with any changes needed eg change in director

For this service we charge £15 + VAT per month and approx 80% of limited companies take it for the peace of mind that it is all taken care off.

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to marks
03rd Apr 2019 12:43

marks wrote:

We charge £10 + VAT per month for acting as registered office...... Also we provide co sec services to clients.....For this service we charge £15 + VAT per month


So is that a total of £25 pm for reg'd office + co sec services, or does the latter fee of £15 include acting as reg'd office, too?
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03rd Apr 2019 10:56

Depending on your Money Laundering regulations you could use a Ltd Co as a Company secretary or suggest that your company director does likewise.

If the company was formed before 2005 (not sure of the date) there was a requirement to have a company secretary. A change in the Arles can get rid of this requirement

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By DJKL
to pauljohnston
03rd Apr 2019 11:09

Certainly what my father's law firm did, they I believe had a company called something like M & L (Secretaries) Limited. It also avoids lots of work if say an individual partner dies or leaves the firm

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03rd Apr 2019 11:53

Sure I can do that its £10k a year....on paye
Very responsible job being the officer of a company

That should fix it....

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09th Apr 2019 11:32

Most firms I know of, do the Company House stuff for clients, and act as registered office. It means we get all the reminders and other stuff, so that we know what is going on. As a by-product we field loads of junk for clients who appreciate this.
It depends what the client wants a "Company Secretary" for.
When you understand this, you may make a judgement. I do not think there is any "CoSec" work which may not be done by an accountant as part of regular fee-earning.

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