As Bahrain puts great strides to diversify and develop its non-oil economy, the government is actively pursuing various amendments to certain provisions of the Bahrain Commercial Companies Law (BCCL) as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to develop its compliance and regulatory frameworks in line with international best practices.
In the light of recent economic developments and changing business landscape in the world, the stakeholders of companies are getting overly concerned with the conduct of affairs of their companies and looking for increased control and monitoring of regulatory compliance. As Bahrain is laying out more regulatory requirements at the feet of company secretaries, their functions are becoming extremely vital for the long-term growth and sustainability of business organisations.
With the increased focus on corporate governance by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MOIC) Bahrain, the role of the company secretary has been expanded to include its function as the custodian of the company’s compliance with legislative requirements for avoiding legal procedures.
As soon as a new company formation in Bahrain is initiated, the government recommends the implementation of professional company secretary services in advance for streamlining bookkeeping and accounting processes for appropriate record-keeping and timely compliance of regulatory protocols.
The company secretary is responsible for ensuring compliance with company law, maintaining certain statutory registers and making the necessary filings with the Registrar of Companies including annual returns, financial statements and any changes in share capital.
In reality, the role of the company secretaries has gone much beyond the basic statutory requirements and the added responsibility of improving corporate governance through system and process development has now fallen on their lap. The chairperson and the board directors are also constantly looking up to them for skills, expertise and technology in this area. Periodic reviews of corporate governance policies with recommendations for improvements is also their responsibility.
Another critical role that the company secretary has is communicating with external stakeholders. They are also the first point of contact for investor queries.
In Bahrain, the company secretary function is one of the most vital elements in business and mandatory to address the regulatory requirements in the company’s legal, financial and corporate governance perspective.
Collaborating with professional experts facilitates achieving the ultimate organisational objective of business sustenance and growth with continued regulatory compliance on all business fronts. Following are the benefits of outsourcing company secretary services in Bahrain.
As foreign investment grows with a greater number of business establishments in Bahrain, so does the demand for skilled and professional company Secretaries. Hiring employees for company secretary functions is not only difficult but expensive too and generally involves lots of training and skill development programs that push the employee cost even higher. Besides, there are recruitment and employee retention costs as well and again increases the fixed employee overheads. Furthermore, a doubt always remains about the quality of service that the employees will deliver.
Outsourcing Company secretary services, on the other hand, is a one-time cost and saves time and other resources of setting up an in-house facility. Professional service charges of company secretary service providers are much less than the employment and maintenance cost of the internal Corporate Secretarial Team and translate to considerable cost savings.
When a company secretarial service is outsourced, it generally cuts back huge time and efforts on recruitment, employee engagement, training and development. The time saved can be utilised more productively in other business pursuits including strategic planning, operating cost optimization etc. The responsibility of training and development of internal staff generally lies with the service provider.
The external service providers ensure the most accurate and reliable financial statements of the company that improves clarity and confidence about the financial future of the business and in turn, facilitate investment decisions of potential investors. As corporate governance improves, the board takes smart and strategic decisions for value unlocking and attracts more investments.
Company secretarial service providers generally offer packaged services with several options that can be selectively chosen by the companies as per their needs. Accounting services in Bahrain are often the most lucrative options and can help companies grow in several ways.
Company secretarial service providers because of their profession keep a closer track of all business and company-related legal updates and provide businesses with early information on any inclusion and amendment in government regulations.
Company secretarial services focus on improving the corporate governance of the company. Once implemented with the right spirit with the help of expert professional service providers, the company’s goodwill in the market is significantly boosted opening avenues for future business growth.
Company Secretarial service providers generally use the latest technology and software to accomplish their job. Once a company hires such service providers, it can benefit from the latest and updated high tech software available with the agency without incurring costs on procurement, installation and maintenance.
Risk mitigation is the essence of company secretarial services outsourcing and primarily because these agencies have a team of expert and seasoned professionals who can identify anomalies and non-compliance in the system and processes at the earliest and can take quick corrective and preventive actions for avoiding legal actions and penalties. They are committed to their planned schedules and normally have high standards of reliability. Some of them are industry veterans and work with clients from diverse fields and enjoy better PR with government agencies and officials. They are more receptive to any impounding threats and can take prompt and most appropriate countermeasures.
Before outsourcing company secretarial services in Bahrain, you need to find out one of the best corporate secretarial services providers primarily operating in your field of business and one with a high reputation and success rate. The service provider needs to be affordable and must have team members with high levels of professional qualifications. You also need to choose a firm that has a base in Bahrain and possess good knowledge and information on local laws.
Mr. Johnson K. Rajan, is part of the management team at IMC. His core expertise lies in Trust advisory & Family office with several years of multinational experience in Wealth planning, External Asset Management, Fund Administration & Custodial Banking. A Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner with the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) United Kingdom and an MBA from Bharathiar University, India.
He primarily manages Client Advisory, Relationship Management & Business Development amongst other responsibilities in Advisory & Secretarial capacity on the board of client companies, managing large and key client relationships along with driving the identification, execution of new business opportunities.