Wednesday, 11 June 2014

What are the requirements of company secretary?

Directors and Secretaries Guide
NIC Building, Jinnah Avenue,
Islamabad, Pakistan.
Ph. No.: 051-9207091-4, Fax: 051-9204915
SECP Guide
Table of Contents
Introduction 2
1. Limited companies: the basic 4
2. Role of a company director 6
3. Role and duties of a company secretary 10
4. What documents are to be provided to the
Commission and the registrars? 14
5. Quality of documents 17
6. Further information 20
The Law recognizes a company, as a “legal person” which in its own
rights, is capable of owning property, making contracts, conducting
litigations and also responsible for doing wrongs. When we look at
these matters from practical angle, and at the way in which this
artificial legal person functions; its corporate will is manifested, its
decisions taken and its acts performed, we see that a company cannot
do any thing at all except through the human beings.
The business of a company is run and managed by its board of
directors; which is headed by a Chief Executive. The companies
appoint these officers as required by the Companies Ordinance, 1984
(hereinafter referred to as “the Ordinance”). The Ordinance necessitates
the appointment of at least one director and a company secretary for a
single member company, two directors for a private limited company,
three directors for an unlisted public company and seven directors and a
company secretary for a public listed company. The director, or
directors, must manage the company’s affairs in accordance with its
memorandum and articles of association and the law. Certain
responsibilities apply to all directors, whether executive or nonexecutive.
This booklet:
• explains some of the main responsibilities of a company's
officers; and
• deals with some of the key requirements of the Ordinance in
relation to the filing of documents with the Securities and
Exchange Commission of Pakistan (the Commission) and
the Company Registration Offices (CROs). The booklet will
not tell you everything about being a director or secretary,
but it will give you a good idea of your responsibilities as
they relate to the Commission and CROs.
If, after reading this booklet, you are in doubt about your responsibilities, you
should seek professional advice from a legal adviser or a professional
Limited companies: the basics
1. Do I really need to incorporate a limited company?
The basic features and advantages to carry out the business through a
company are as under:-
Separate from its shareholders/directors. It has its own rights
and liabilities. It can borrow money and invests funds, own
property, sue and be sued, enter into contracts etc.
Incorporation gives the privilege of limited liability to its
members up to a maximum of their investment or share in the
entity or undertaken by them in event of winding up.
Debts of company are the debts of this artificial legal person
and not of the people running the company or owning shares in
Personal property of the shareholders can not be attached for
the recovery of debts
The investment of every person is known / determined
Clear and convenient legal framework for the transferability of
interest (shares) -
In distinction to partnership, the death of one or more or even
of all the members does not affect its legal status and do not
end the company
Preference by the financial sector in extending the financial
assistance to documented and organized form of incorporated
Preparation and audit of accounts
Incorporation gives a status higher than partnership and
Proprietor-ship in the organizational hierarchy.
Having an incorporated business would give any business more
credibility among potential customers, vendors, partners and
The entity must function within the limits prescribed through
its charter and regulates its existence through a set of bylaws.
2. What does limited liability mean?
This means that if a company is put into liquidation, the people who own the
company will only be required to pay what they have already paid or agreed
to pay towards settling its debts. Limited liability gives the owners of the
company (its members) protection if the company fails.
3. How do I set up a limited company?
If you decide, may be after taking professional advice, that a limited company
is the best thing for your business, you can incorporate a company with the
CRO under the provisions of the provisions of the Ordinance - for details see
our booklet “Promoters’ Guide” and guidelines for “Company Name
Selection” also available on the Commission’s web-site
“ ”.
4. What can I do with an unwanted company?
If you decide that you do not need a company that you have set up,
you should consider putting it into winding up. For detailed procedure
with regard to winding up of the company, please see our guide
booklet titled with “Winding up and Dissolution of Companies”
4. What happens if accounts and other statutory returns are
filed late and other statutory returns?
As a director of a public limited company or a private limited company
having the paid up capital of Rs. 7.5 million or more you normally
have a maximum of 5 months from the close of accounting year for
filing your company’s audited accounts.
If the accounts or other return(s) is / are received late, the
company will not only pay additional filing fee but the company
and its officers can also be punished with fine. In addition to
normal the additional fee will be payable as under:-
5. What is the query of non-presentation of annual account
in the annual general meeting?
If accounts or copy(ies) of other return(s) is/are received late, the
company will not only pay additional filing fee but the company and its
officers can also be punished with fine.
Role of a company director
1. Who can be appointed as a director?
Generally it is up to the members to appoint the people they believe will run
the company well on their behalf. The ineligibilities that prevent anyone
becoming a director are;
If he:
• is a minor;
• is of unsound mind;
• has applied to be adjudicated as an insolvent and his application is
• is an undischarged insolvent;
• has been convicted by a court of law for an offence involving moral
• has been debarred from holding such office under any provision of
this Ordinance;
• has lacked fiduciary behaviour and a declaration to this effect has
been made by the Court under section 217 of the Ordinance at any
time during the preceding five years;
• is not a member ; This disqualification shall not apply in the case of a
person representing the Government or an institution or authority
which is a member, a whole-time director who is an employee of
the company, a chief executive or a person representing a creditor;
• has been declared by a Court of competent jurisdiction as defaulter in
repayment of loan to a financial institution, exceeding Rs. 1,000,000*
• is a member of a Stock Exchange engaged in the business of
brokerage, or is a spouse of such member*.
(* The restrictions are applicable only in case of listed companies).
2. What responsibilities does a director have towards
Commission and the registrar?
Every company director has a personal responsibility to ensure that all the
statutory documents are filed with the Registrar and the Commission as and
when required under the Ordinance. In particular:
• audited accounts (only for public limited companies including
association not for profit); and private limited companies
having paid up capital of Rs. 7.5 million or more);
• annual returns (Form A/B);
• particulars of directors or other officers (Form 29); and
• notice of change of registered office (Form 21).
Chapter 4 summarizes what documents a limited company has to file with the
Commission and the Registrar.
3. What happens if accounts or annual returns are not filed?
Failure to deliver documents on time is an offence under the Ordinance. On
conviction, a director could be penalized with a fine and also debarred from
becoming director.
4. Are directors really prosecuted?
Yes. On average of more than 2,000 directors are adjudicated / prosecuted
each year for failing to file accounts and other statutory returns with the
Registrar within the prescribed time. Persistent failure to comply with the
statutory requirements on time may also lead to a director being disqualified
and the company may also be wound up under certain circumstances.
5. What happens if accounts are filed late?
As a director of a public limited company, or a private limited company
having the paid up capital of Rs. 7.5 million or more you normally have a
maximum of 5 months from the close of accounting year for filing your
company’s audited accounts.
If the accounts or other return(s) is/are received late, the company will not
only pay additional filing fee but the company and its officers can also be
punished with fine. In addition to normal the additional fee will be payable as
Period of delay Additional Filing Fee
(a) If a document is filed with a delay
of not more than fifteen days.
Additional fee equal to the usual
fee specified for the document in
the Sixth Schedule.
(b) If a document is filed with a delay
of more than fifteen days but not
more than forty-five days.
Additional fee equal to two times
of the usual fee specified for the
document in the Sixth Schedule.
(c) If a document is filed with a delay
of more than forty-five days.
Additional fee equal to three times
of the usual fee specified for the
document in the Sixth Schedule.
6. What are the consequences of non-presentation of Annual
Accounts in the Annual General Meeting?
It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors of a company to maintain
proper books of accounts get the annual accounts audited by the auditor of the
company, present the audited accounts before the Annual General Meeting for
approval of the members within the prescribed period as provided under the
law. In case of non-compliance, in filing the statutory returns within
prescribed period and apart from the other penalties for violating the specific
provisions of the Ordinance, which include heavy amounts of fines and
prosecution of the management leading to imprisonment of the defaulting
directors/officers are liable to pay additional fee (as discussed at para-5 of the
7. How can prosecution and penalties/fines be avoided?
Make sure your company complies within the prescribed time, with all its
statutory obligation not only pertaining to filing of its accounts and other
statutory returns as required to be filed under the provisions of the Ordinance
and the rules frame there-under but also with respect to:-
• Issuance of shares certificates to the shareholders. (S.74 to 75)
• Transfer of shares. (S. 76 to 81)
• Registration of Charges (S. 121 to 136)
• Maintenance of Registered Office Address (S. 143)
• Holding of statutory meetings by a public company (S. 157)
• Maintenance of Minute’s Book (S. 173)
• Election of Directors (S. 178 to 180)
• Appointment of Chief Executive (S. 198 to 203)
• Appointment of Company Secretary (where applicable) (S. 204A)
• Maintenance of books of accounts and other statutory register (S.
• Preparation, audit and presentation of accounts in the AGM (S. 233)
• Preparation of quarterly accounts by a listed company S. 245)
• Payment of Dividends within the prescribed period (S. 248 to 251)
• Appointment of Auditor (S. 252 to 254)
• Appointment of Legal Adviser (Companies Appointment of Legal
Advisor’s Act, 1974).
8. Why does the Company Registration Office need this
In exchange for the benefits of trading with limited liability, companies must
deliver certain information about themselves to the Registrar, who makes this
information available for inspection by the public so that they can make
informed decisions about companies that they may wish to invest in or do
business with.
9. Isn’t my legal/corporate consultant supposed to do all this?
Your legal/corporate consultant’s responsibilities to you depend on the
agreement between you and him or her. However, the responsibility to file
accounts and other statutory documents rests entirely with the directors.
Ensure that your legal/corporate consultants have all the necessary
information/document to prepare and file the statutory returns on time.
If necessary, change your consultants. Don’t just assume that they are
getting on with the job.
Accountants, legal, corporate and financial advisers do not get
adjudicated / prosecuted or penalized for late filing under the
You do!
10. Why does the Company Registration Office need this
Documents / informations maintained by the registrar is the public record and
available for inspection by the rest of the world i.e. the creditors, venders and
general public for the purpose of making investment in the company, enter
into contract and for other useful purposes.
Remember, filing of documents does not take place until they reach the
Role and duties of a company
1. Does every company need a secretary?
No. Companies Ordinance requires only a listed company to have a whole
time secretary and a single member company to have a secretary.
2. Does a company secretary need any qualifications?
The secretary to be appointed by a listed company shall be a member of a
recognized body of professional accountants, or a member of a recognized
body of corporate / chartered secretaries or a person holding a masters degree
in Business Administration or Commerce or is a Law graduate from a
university recognized by Higher Education Commission and having at least
two years relevant experience. Further, a person being engaged by a public
listed company as secretary before the 26th October, 2002 is permitted to
continue as such if he has practical experience of five years in that position.
However, the company secretary of a single member company shall be a
person holding a bachelor degree from a university recognized by the Higher
Education Commission.
3. What are the duties of a company secretary?
These are not specified by the Ordinance, but are usually contained in an
employment contract. However, the company secretary generally performs
the following functions:-
Functions of secretary:
A. Secretarial functions:
To ensure compliance of the provisions of Ordnance and rules
made there-under and other statutes and bye-laws of the
To ensure that business of the company is conducted in
accordance with its objects as contained in its memorandum
of association.
To ensure that affairs of the company are managed in
accordance with its objects contained in the articles of
association and the provisions of the Ordnance.
To prepare the agenda in consultation with the Chairman and
the other documents for all the meetings of the board of
To arrange with and to call and hold meetings of the board
and to prepare a correct record of proceedings.
To attend the broad meetings in order to ensure that the legal
requirements are fulfilled, and provide such information as are
To prepare, in consultation with the chairman, the agenda and
other documents for the general meetings.
To arrange with the consultation of chairman the annual and
extraordinary general meetings of the company and to attend
such meetings in order to ensure compliance with the legal
requirements and to make correct record thereof.
To carry out all matters concerned with the allotment of
shares, and issuance of share certificates including
maintenance of statutory Share Register and conducting the
appropriate activities connected with share transfers.
To prepare, approve, sign and seal agreements leases, legal
forms, and other official documents on the company’s behalf,
when authorised by the broad of the directors or the executive
To advise, in conjunctions with the company’s solicitors, the
chief executive or other executive, in respect of the legal
matters, as required.
To engage legal advisors and defend the rights of the
company in Courts of Law.
To have custody of the seal of the company.
B. Legal obligations of secretary:
Filling of various documents/returns with the Registrar /
Commission as required under the provisions of the
Ordinance. .
Proper maintenance of books and registers of the company as
required under the provisions of the Ordinance.
To see whether legal requirements of the allotment, issuance
and transfer of share certificates, mortgages and charges, have
been complied with.
To convene/arrange the meetings of directors, on their advise.
To issue notice and agenda of board meetings to every
director of the company.
To carry on correspondence with the directors of the company
on various matters.
To record the minutes of the proceedings of the meetings of
the directors.
To implement the policies formulated by the directors.
To deal with all correspondence between the company and the
To issues notice and agenda of the general meetings to the
To keep the record of the proceedings of all general meetings.
To make arrangement for the payment of the dividend within
prescribed period as provided under the provisions of the
C. To maintain the following statutory books
􀂾 the register of transfer of shares (section 76);
􀂾 the register of buy-backed shares by a company (section 95A);
􀂾 the register of mortgages, charges etc. (section 135);
􀂾 the register of members and index thereof (section 147);
􀂾 the register of debenture-holders (section 149);
􀂾 the register of directors and other officers (section 205);
􀂾 the register of contracts (section 219);
􀂾 the register of directors' shareholdings and debentures (section
􀂾 the register of Pakistani members, directors and officers, in case
of a foreign company (section 454);
􀂾 Minute books;
􀂾 Proxy register;
􀂾 Register of beneficial ownership;
􀂾 Register of deposits;
􀂾 Register of director’s share holding; and
􀂾 Register of contracts, arrangements and appointments in
which directors etc are interested
D. Other duties
The company secretary usually undertakes the following duties:
(a) Ensuring that statutory forms are filed promptly. You
cannot simply send a letter to notify the Registrar that you
wish to change the situation of the company's registered
office or that change has occurred among directors or
secretaries or auditors or particulars. You should normally
use forms 21 and 29 as appropriate. You may also use the
Form A/B for filing the annual return if the return is due at
the current time. Changes in directors and secretaries or in
time particulars must be notified to the Registrar within 14
days. There are many other forms that need to be delivered to
the Registrar. See Chapter 4, 'What you have to send to the
Commission and the Registrar for more information.
(b) Providing members and auditors with notice of meeting.
You must give them 21 days written notice for holding of
annual and other general meetings.
(c) Sending the Registrar copy of special resolutions. You must
file with the Registrar special resolution on Form-26 within
15 days of its being passed.
E. Supplying a copy of the accounts to every member of the company,
every debenture holder and every person who is entitled to receive
notice of general meetings. You must send annual audited accounts at D.
eneral Meeting at which they are to be laid - see section 233 of the
F.Keeping or arranging for the having of minutes of directors' meetings and
general meetings. Apart from monitoring the Directors and Members
minutes books, copies of the minutes of board meetings should also be
provided to every director within 15 days of the meeting.
G.Ensuring that people entitled to do so, can inspect company records. For
example, members of the company are entitled to a copy of the company's
register of members, and to inspect the minutes of its general meetings
and to have copies of these minutes.
H. Custody and use of the common seal. Companies are required to have a
common seal and the secretary is usually responsible for its custody and
use. (Common seals can be bought from seal makers)
4. Does a company secretary has any powers?
The Ordinance allows him to sign the statutory returns and applications to be
furnished to the Registrar and the Commission.
5. What are the rights of a company secretary?
The rights of a company secretary depend on the terms of his or her contract
with the company. The secretary has no special rights under the Ordinance.
What documents are to be provided to the
Commission and the Company Registration
Company directors and secretaries are responsible for filing various returns
containing information to the Commission and the Registrar. There are over
46 forms that companies could file. The following information deals only
with the most common forms and documents that companies will use.
1. Accounts.-
All limited companies, whether trading or not, must keep accounting records
but only public companies (including associations not for profit, and by
guarantees) are required to file annual audited accounts with the Registrar.
Listed companies are also required to send quarterly accounts to the
Commission and the Registrar.
The accounts will include:
• directors' report signed by the chief executive and a director;
• a balance sheet signed by the chief executive and a director;
• a profit and loss account (or income and expenditure account if
the company is not trading for profit);
• an auditors' report signed by the auditor;
• notes to the accounts; and
• consolidated accounts (if applicable).
Accounts must be produced to a standard that we can scan to reproduce
electronically - see chapter 5.
Directors are personally responsible for ensuring that accounts are prepared
and delivered to the Commission and the Registrar. Failure to do so may
result in a criminal conviction for the director(s) and financial penalties as
2. Annual returns (Form A/B)
An annual return is a snapshot of general information about a company giving
details of its chief executive, directors, chief accountant, secretary, legal
adviser and auditors, registered office address, shareholders and share capital.
If you file the annual return late or not at all, the company and its director(s)
and secretary can be prosecuted under the Ordinance.
Please note that annual returns are quite separate from annual accounts.
3. Change of registered office - Form 21
Every company must have a registered office: it is the 'home' of the company
to which all official documents, notices and court papers have to be sent by
law. The address must be a physical location, not just a post office box. This
is because people have the right to visit your office to inspect certain registers
and documents, and to deliver documents. It is vital that you keep us informed
of the location of your registered office to send all formal communications.
You can change your registered office address by filing a notice for change on
Form 21 with the Registrar within 28 days of such change. E-mail address
must also be mentioned in all of your communications so that relevant
information and communications are sent to you through E-mail.
4. Particulars of directors and other officers – Form 29
Form 29 is used for:-
• the appointment of an officer (Chief Executive, Director, Company
Secretary, Chief Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Auditor, Legal
• an officer ceasing to act (resignation, removal, death etc.)
• a change in particulars of an officer, for example, a change of name
or new residential address.
• a change in particulars of an officer, for example, a change of name
or new residential address.
All changes in particulars of directors and other officers must be sent to the
registrar within 14-days of the change.
5. Allotments of shares - Form 3.
This form should be sent to Registrar within 30 days of the shares being
6. Mortgages and charges – Forms 10, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17.
Particulars of any mortgage or charge created by the company, modification
or satisfaction thereof must be sent to Registrar within 21 days of its creation
or satisfaction.
7. Special Resolutions – Form 26
The Special Resolution passed by a company is to be filed with the
registrar within 15 days from the date of passing.
Quality of documents
What happens to documents sent to the registrar?
1. Electronic Documents
The documents filed electronically i.e. through eServices are examined and if
found in order, are accepted by the concerned registrar and saved in the
system in the electronic form
2. Physical documents
The documents and forms you file with the registrar in the physical form are
scanned to produce an electronic image. The original documents are then kept
in files and the electronic image would be used as working documents.
When your business contacts would view and get copies of your company
record, they would see the electronic image, copy it or simply make
inspection. So it is important that not only the original is legible, but a clear
copy can also be made of it.
This chapter lays down a few quality guidelines to follow when preparing a
document for filing with the registrar.
3. What happens if your documents do not meet the guidelines?
Section 468 of the Ordinance allows the registrar to reject document that is
insufficiently legible or is written upon paper, which is not durable, giving a
notice to file a revised document. An acceptable document must be delivered
within the time mentioned in the notice (otherwise the registrar treats the
original as not having been filed).
4. How should documents be set out?
Every document delivered to the registrar must state in a prominent position
the registration number of the company, and must comply with any
requirement specified by the registrar relating to the legibility of that
Briefly, documents should be on A4 size, plain white paper between 80 grams
and 100grams in weight with a matt finish. Text should be black, clear,
legible, and of uniform density. Letters and numbers must not be less than
1.8mm high, with a line width of not less than 0.25mm.
When you fill in a form:
• use black ink or black type;
• use bold lettering ;
• don't send a carbon copy;
• don't use a dot matrix printer; and
• remember - photocopies can result in a grey shade that will not
scan well.
When you complete other documents, please remember:
• the points already made relating to completing forms;
• to use A4 size paper with a good margin;
• to supply them in portrait format (that is with the shorter edge
across the top);
• to include the company registration number in the top right-hand
corner of the first page.
Important: colored ink can drop out (disappear) when a document is
scanned to produce an image. To prevent this - always use black ink to
complete and sign all documents.
5. What are the most common mistakes to avoid?
Glossy accounts
If you are producing colour-printed glossy accounts, please save them for
your members and others who will appreciate them. We still need black ink
on white paper with a matt finish. A typed unbound version or printer's proof
is ideal, provided it has the necessary signatures.
Members lists
Our requirements on document quality apply equally to the lists of members /
shareholders that accompany annual returns and allotment forms.
If these are computer prints, it is essential that the print quality is good. We
have particular problems with lists printed on green-lined computer paper. It
would be better if the member’s list is provided on A4 size paper.
Listed companies are required to send to the Commission their Annual Return
(Form A) containing list of members on floppy diskette.
5. How to get further guidance on quality of documents?
For further guidance, contact 051-9206306 and 051-9205869.
For guidance on acceptable floppy diskette and formats,
contact 051-9207091-4/ext304.
Further information
1. Can I obtain information about a company from
Commission and the registrar?
Yes. Company information is vital for informed decision-making.
In the concerned Company Registration Office, you'll find information on
every company registered with the CRO, from names and addresses to annual
returns and accounts. But note that private companies do not have to file their
You can also get information about foreign companies that establish a place
of business in this country or open a branch here.
You can order a company search by visiting any of our CRO.
2. Where do I get forms and guidance booklets?
This is one of a series of the Commission’s booklets which provide a simple
guide to the Ordinance.
The quickest way to get the statutory forms and guide-booklets is through
SECP’s website i.e.
Forms can also be obtained from stationers, accountants, legal advisers and
corporate practitioners.
If in doubt about your responsibilities, seek professional advice.
NOTE: For filing of returns on Form-29, i.e. notifying the
particulars of directors and secretary to the registrar
please see our guide-booklets titled with “Filing of
Return Guide”.
3. How information can be sent to the registrar?
You may file documents to the registrar concerned through eServices.
The detailed procedure for filing the documents is provided in the
“filing of statutory returns guide”. Alternatively, the documents may
be filed to the registrar concerned in physical form (personally or by
sending by post or by courier service).
If documents are sent by post or courier it should be addressed to any
one of the following Company Registration Offices (CROs), having
territory/ jurisdiction on your company:-
1. Company Registration Office,
State Life Building, 7-Blue Area, Islamabad.
Phone No.: 051-9208740 Fax No: 051-9208740
2. Company Registration Office,
4th Floor, SLIC Building No.2,
Wallace Road, Karachi.
Phone No: 021-99213272 Fax No. 021-99213278
3. Company Registration Office,
3rd & 4th Floor, Associated House,
7-Egerton Road, Lahore
Phone No. 042-99204962 – 6 Fax No: 042-99202044
4. Company Registration Office,
63-A, 2nd Floor,
Nawa-e-Waqt Building,
Adbali Road, Multan.
Phone No: 061-9200530/9200920 Fax No: 061-9200920
5. Company Registration Office,
356-A, Akram Plaza, Small D ground.
Peoples Colony No. 1, Faisalabad.
Phone No: 041-9220284 Fax No: 041-9220152
6. Company Registration Office,
1st Floor, State Life Building, The Mall,
Peshawar Cantt.
Phone No: 091-9212178 , Fax No: 091-9213178
7. Company Registration Office,
382/3, (IDBP House), Shahrah-e-Hali,
Quetta Cantt.
Phone No: 081-2844136 Fax No: 081-2899134
8. Company Registration Office,
28-D, Hamdard Housing Society,
Airport Road, Sukkur,
Phone No: 071-5630517 Fax No: 071-5633757

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