EIA 070 Goh Sok Koon Insights: Unveils the Role of a Company Secretary

Goh Sok Koon
Goh Sok Koon

Goh Sok Koon is a company secretary a vital role in any business in Singapore. I am fortunate to have met her as she has been extremely helpful to me in getting my business up and running. Even before that, I was trying to get her to appear here on this podcast. By her own admission she has been reluctant, preferring like many people to work diligently in the background of the many businesses that she is a part of. But as a business founder of her own, specifically Lioness Corporate Services, and additionally as she plays a more active role in business groups she is a member of she now feels ready and the need to appear on her first podcast.

As well as:

  • Goh Sok Koon introduces herself as a company secretary for Lioness Corporate Services with over five years of experience.
  • Describes the importance and main role of a company secretary for a businesses in Singapore.
  • Qualifications required to become a company secretary depend on whether one is an accountant or a lawyer, with a usual completion time of two to three years.
  • The route taken to become a professionally qualified company secretary in Singapore
  • Reasons for moving to Singapore and the impact it had on her career.
  • Changes that need to be kept up with in order to be a successful company secretary in Singapore.
  • What are the additional important areas that need to be understood beyond the core duties of a company secretary.
  • Key advice entrepreneurs need before starting a business.
  • What makes a good company secretary.
  • Goh Sok Koon hopes for her business in the future.
  • The extended role of reminding directors and CEOs of their obligations and providing guidance and support.
  • The benefits of  Business Development Society, a supportive networking group focused on learning and sharing experiences.
  • How her experience and knowledge gained as a business owner help her assist others, especially foreigners, in starting businesses in Singapore.
  • The enjoyment from her job demonstrates how in depth Sok Koon is willing to go to help people understand the process of starting a business and providing guidance along the way.

Contacts and Links Mentioned:

Goh Sok Koon on LinkedIn

Podcast Show Notes:

[Introduction] (00:00.0)

  • Neville J McKenzie introduces the podcast Sok Koon, Goh Sok Koon, a company secretary.
  • Mention of Sok Koon’s helpfulness in getting the Neville’s business up and running.
  • Mention of Sok Koon’s initial reluctance to appear on the podcast.

Question 1: Can you introduce yourself? (00:57.7)

  • Sok Koon introduces herself as a company secretary for Lioness Corporate Services.
  • Mention of her experience in the field for over five years.
  • Previous work experience as a company secretary in small firms.

Question 2: Tell us about your job as a corporate service executive or company secretary, which do you prefer? (01:20.0)

  • In Singapore, Sok Koon’s role is typically referred to as company secretary.
  • Main role is to ensure businesses comply with legal requirements and regulations.
  • Responsibilities include ensuring compliance with company laws, preparing financial statements, submitting tax returns, and assisting different types of business entities.

Question 3: How important is the role of a company secretary? (02:59.0)

  • Company secretary is an important role recognized in the company’s act.
  • Every company in Singapore must appoint a company secretary.
  • Duties involve ensuring compliance with regulations and providing advice to the board of directors.

Question 4: How long does it take to qualify as a company secretary? (03:54.4)

  • Time required to qualify depends on whether the individual is an accountant or a lawyer.
  • Generally, it takes two to three years to complete the necessary course.
  • Recent changes in the syllabus allow individuals to obtain a certificate, partial qualification, and then a full professional qualification.

Question 5: Can you share some interesting events in your career that have led to where you are today? (04:59.6)

  • Sok Koon initially aimed to become an accountant but ended up studying business administration due to admission limitations in Malaysian universities.
  • Collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK) helped her obtain a professional qualification.
  • Started as an admin assistant but desired a more specialized and professional role, leading her to become a company secretary.
  • Decision to move to Singapore was driven by the desire for a better learning environment, improved English language skills, and greater opportunities.

Question 6: What is the biggest impact that coming to Singapore has had on your career? (07:19.6)

  • Notable impacts include improved English proficiency and a conducive working and learning environment.
  • Accessible learning materials and online resources facilitated faster learning and adaptation to changes in policies, laws, and business practices.

Question 7: What is a key goal for your business or profession in general? (07:57.7)

  • Key goal is to continue adapting to changes in Singapore, including policy, laws, and business practices.
  • Recognizing the importance of personal data protection, cyber security, accounting, taxation, and human resources.
  • Guiding clients in proper tax planning and encouraging fair employment practices.

Question 8: What advice or anecdotes would you give someone before starting a business in Singapore? (09:59.2)

  • Emphasize the importance of thorough planning and studying the chosen business area.
  • Gain relevant experience through employment before starting a business.
  • Encourage learning in multiple areas to become a well-rounded business person.

Podcast Show Notes:

Question 9: What advice would you give someone before starting a business in Singapore?(Start: 09:59.2)

  • Before starting a business in Singapore, it is essential to do a lot of planning and study about the specific area of business.
  • Gain experience through employment and try to learn as many areas as possible to become a well-rounded business person.
  • When starting a business, it is crucial to learn about markets, hiring, and different areas beyond your specialization.
  • A switch in mindset is necessary when transitioning from employment to entrepreneurship.
  • Take on challenges outside your comfort zone and be willing to learn various aspects of running a business.

Question 10: What makes somebody good at being a corporate secretary? (Start: 11:25.6)

  • Being a corporate secretary involves more than completing forms and compliance tasks.
  • A good corporate secretary must possess business acumen and understand their clients’ business and management.
  • Understanding various legal areas such as business law, contract law, and employment law is crucial.
  • Adaptability to changes in legal requirements, policies, and compliance is important.
  • A corporate secretary should help clients beyond compliance and offer guidance in their business operations.

Question 11: What are your hopes and aspirations for your personal and professional life?(Start: 13:08.8)

  • Sok Koon’s hope is to grow the business and achieve sufficient profits to hire staff.
  • Also aspire to pass down her work experience and teach younger generations about being a good company secretary.
  • The demand for qualified and experienced company secretaries is high in Singapore.
  • The supply of such professionals is limited due to the lack of awareness about the role and its importance.
  • Sok Koon aims to instill interest in the role of a company secretary and meet the demand in the market.

Question 12: Is part of your role as a corporate secretary to remind directors and CEOs of their obligations? (Start: 16:01.0)

  • Yes, part of the role is to send timely reminders to clients about compliance requirements.
  • Sok Koon emphasizes the importance of compliance while also encouraging clients to develop their businesses.
  • To actively link clients with one another to share experiences and expand knowledge.
  • Reminding directors and CEOs about their obligations is a way to guide them in fulfilling their responsibilities.
  • Sok Koon’s goal extends beyond being a company secretary  and to support and facilitate her clients’ overall business growth.

Question 13: Can you tell us about the business groups you belong to? (Start: 17:16.1)

  • Sok Koon attended various business networking sessions when starting her business.
  • She discovered the Business Development Society through the Meetup platform.
  • The Business Development Society is a supportive and non-aggressive networking group focused on learning from and supporting each other.
  • The group allows for learning from others, understanding different businesses, and making genuine connections.
  • Sok Koon also enjoys helping newcomers and providing them with free advice, even if they don’t become customers.

Question 14: Does your business experience help you assist foreigners when they come to Singapore to start a business? (Start: 19:16.3)

  • Sok Koon’s business journey has allowed them to learn from various people and experiences.
  • She can pass this knowledge and experience to new business owners and assist foreigners in navigating the Singapore business environment.
  • Foreigners often have limited knowledge about starting a business in Singapore, and Sok Koon can provide guidance.
  • Sharing information, knowledge, and experiences helps foreigners obtain a business pass in Singapore and become successful business owners.

Question 15: Do you enjoy your job? (Start: 20:02.9)

  • Sok Koon enjoys meeting and helping people.
  • She guides people on starting a business and informs them about the process.
  • Helps individuals understand the different business entities and the risks involved.
  • Advises on whether limited liability or sole proprietorship/partnership is suitable.
  • Discusses factors to consider when partnering with others.
  • Emphasizes the importance of clear written agreements to avoid conflicts.

Question 16: What advice does Sok Koon give for partnerships in business? (20:02.9 – 21:49.0)

  • Partnering with friends may lead to conflicts and differing ideas.
  • Encourages having written agreements or email understandings.
  • Suggests discussing profit sharing and contributions in advance.
  • Mentions the option of buying up partner shares to own the business completely.
  • Recommends anticipating conflicts and discussing them beforehand.
  • Emphasizes the need to be fair to both partners during conflicts.

Question 17: How can listeners get in touch with Sok Koon? (21:49.8 – 23:07.4)

  • They can contact Goh Sok Koon through LinkedIn.
  • Sok Koon can be found on LinkedIn under “Goh Sok Koon.”
  • The show notes will include links to Sok Koon’s LinkedIn profile.
  • The Lioness Corporate Services website is currently under construction.

Question 18: Any additional information or announcements? (23:11.7 – 23:57.5)

  • A special thanks to Goh Sok Koon
  • Sok Koon wishes everyone the best and looks forward to future interactions.
  • If interested in opening a business in Singapore, reach out to Goh Sok Koon directly
  • The Lioness Corporate Services website will be added to the episode’s page on asiabissstories.com in the future.
  • Entrepreneurs living in Singapore are invited to attend meetups.

End: (23:58.2 – 24:11.2)