The core difference between a company director and company secretary is that a company director is always a legal requirement whereas a company secretary is only required for public limited companies and is optional for private ones. Their responsibilities also differ significantly. A director takes on more responsibility and accountability for the proper running of the business whereas a secretary supports the senior management of the business and liaises with shareholders.

What is a company director?

The director takes a more hands-on role. They will be in control of the company and expected to make significant decisions to ensure its continued success. This can include meeting the obligations to shareholders, generating profit, and ensuring that the business is operating legally.

A director has a legal responsibility for running the company in accordance with its articles of association and for sending accurate information to Companies House. This includes (but is not limited to) the business’ confirmation statement, annual accounts, allotment of shares, and any changes in the company’s officers.

What is a company secretary?

A company secretary typically takes on administrative tasks such as record keeping of business-critical communications. This includes noting who is involved in the running of the company, such as shareholders, and their respective rights and responsibilities. They will also act as a liaison between the directors and shareholders and often be responsible for organising general meetings and circulating relevant information. This keeps all of the key stakeholders informed and coordinated.

A secretary is expected to work with the director to ensure compliance with relevant legislation including the Companies Act 2006 and the articles of association. There is not a strict, legally defined definition of this role so it can vary depending on the size, scope, and industry of the company.

Who can fill these roles?

A company director must be at least sixteen years of age. They also cannot be an un-discharged bankrupt, on the disqualified directors register, or otherwise prohibited from being a company director. The director does not need to be a UK national and can run a British company from anywhere in the world. However, tax law and company filing rules will always need to be diligently followed.

For private limited companies, there are no limits on who can take on the role of company secretary. Public limited companies, on the other hand, must have an appropriately qualified individual ideally with relevant experience. The key difference between a secretary and a director is that unlike a director, a company secretary does not have to be an individual. An appropriately accredited and trustworthy external organisation such as an accountancy firm can take on this role for you.

If you’re looking for tailored company secretarial services, then Bells Accounting are the perfect choice. We take on all of the responsibilities of a company secretary including maintaining the books, filing returns, and can even provide a premises to act as your business’ registered office. To contact our experts just call 020 8468 1087 or send an email to .