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Director and Secretary Requirements for UK Companies


UK Private Limited Companies

UK private limited companies must have at least one director at all time during its existence. There is currently no upper limit.

Since 6th April 2008, there is no longer a requirement to have a minimum of one company secretary. Prior to 1 October 2009, where the company opted to have a secretary and there was a single director, the secretary would have to have been another person.

The position is slightly different following the Companies Act 2006 changes introduced on 1 October 2009 which now permits a sole director to also act as a company secretary.

Thus a single person can now occupy the three essential positions when incorporating a company; those of director, secretary and subscriber.

Essentially, this means that only one person is required to register a limited company and a single individual can occupy all three positions; that is, those of director, secretary and subscriber.

Public Limited Companies

Public limited companies must have a minimum of two directors and at least one secretary, which remains unchanged from pre 6th April 2008.

The secretary must have the required qualifications or degrees of experience before the appointment will be ratified by Companies House.

The criteria for becoming a secretary of a public limited company is that the person should be a member of either one of the recognised accountancy bodies, a chartered secretary of have the requisite experience gained from a previous appointment in a PLC.

There are no such prerequisites relating to directors of either a private or public limited company.

Corporate Officers

It is possible for one company to be a director or secretary of another. Company A Limited can be appointed as a director of Company B. Since 6 April 2008 where a corporate director is appointed at least one other natural person is required to take up the position of director as well.

A sole company director can not be another corporate entity.

It is not possible (permissible) for a company to be a director or secretary of itself. This Company A could not be a secretary of Company A.

Corporate officers are often used in a nominee capacity, whereby the person incorporating the company wished to remain anonymous or does not wish to use an associate as a company officer.

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