How to Become a Company Secretary

If business law and finance interests you, and if it is ideal for you to work in a company, you may consider becoming a Company Secretary.

A Company Secretary is a senior person in public or private limited company responsible for the efficient administration of a company. He / She ensures that all the statutory and regulatory requirements are met by the company and the decisions of the Board of Directors are implemented.

Job description

As a company secretary you are expected to perform various duties such as:

  • Keeping yourself up to date with company law
  • Preparation of annual company reports
  • Organizing various company meetings
  • Taking minutes of annual general meetings and board meetings
  • Maintaining a list of directors and shareholders up to date
  • Sending company information to Companies House or to the Stock Exchange
  • Dealing with other professionals like lawyers and auditors
  • Administering share option schemes and paying dividends
  • Advising directors and board members about their legal responsibilities
  • Health and safety, property and general management

Working hours and conditions

Your work as a company secretary involves standard office hours during week days. You may have an option to work part-time as well. You are generally expected to meet deadlines and attend a lot of meetings.

Your work is mainly office-based but you may have to travel for some meetings.

Remuneration scheme

Starting salaries 

Around £35,000 a year 

 With experience

Around £50,000 a year 

 Senior level

Around £70,000 a year

 Top salaries

£100,000 to £150,000 a year


Education and training

To become a company secretary, it is vital that you possess a degree or professional qualifications in business, law, accountancy or public administration. You are also required to demonstrate relevant business experience in the areas such as pensions, personnel, accounts, credit control, etc.

To be a company secretary, you need to qualify with the ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators), or be an accountant, solicitor or barrister. To become a full chartered member of ICSA, you may do any of the two:

  • Complete the Chartered Secretaries Qualifying Scheme (CSQS): Open entry qualification
  • ICSA validated postgraduate qualification

After completing any of the above qualifications you become a graduate member of ICSA and gain GradICSA status.

There are various part-time or distance learning courses provided by ICSA as well.

In this profession, you develop your knowledge on the job and while studying for the ICSA exams.

You become a graduate member of ICSA after gaining a chartered status. After significant work experience of number of years, you may reach associate member level or become a fellow of the institute.

You may consider joining Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators for networking and professional development events.

ICSA also offers various single-subject courses, awards and qualifications such as:

  • Advance Certificate in Corporate Governance
  • Certificate in Employee Shares
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Charity Management
  • Company Law and Compliance in Listed Companies

Skills and interests

To be successful in this profession, you need to possess the following:

  • Impeccable oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent presentation and negotiation skills
  • Pay attention to detail
  • Problem solving skills
  • Good organizational and time management skills
  • Understanding of business law and finance
  • Flexible approach towards works
  • Ability to make rational judgments
  • Be able to prioritize work and meet deadlines

Career prospects

As a company secretary, you may find employment with registered companies, or you may work in the public sector for local authorities, charities, universities or NHS hospital trusts. You may also choose to freelance as a consultant or a part-time company secretary for several smaller businesses.

With experience, you may become a company's chief executive or managing director.

Lastly, this job is only for those who are highly organized and serious about their work. If the business world doesn’t interest you, this job may not suit you.