Career as Company Secretary (CS)

Last Updated By Anmol Arora on 11 Apr, 2023

How to Become a Company Secretary (CS)

About Company Secretary (CS)

The recent disturbances in the corporate world have shaken the confidence of business professionals particularly shareholders. At present, there is a massive demand for displaying corporate transparency and credibility by organisations in managing their internal affairs. Most companies are carving to retain the confidence of stakeholders. The top management of the organisations are busy with managing the general working, they hardly get time to mingle with stakeholders and retain/ gain their confidence. In order to tackle that, the organisations/ companies hire qualified and skilled professionals that are CS. A CS plays a vital role in the smooth functioning of a corporate entity. One can confidently believe that a career as CS is not only exciting but also rewarding. 

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CS Full Form

CS full form is Company Secretariat. CS are the compliance officers in a company. The position of a CS is considered one of the most significant managerial position of any organisation. CS give suggestions and perform their role as an in-house legal expert. CS also performs as a chief advisor to the board of directors in corporate matters. 

Stages to Become a Company Secretary

The ICSI has devised a two-way route to enter into the CS course. 

The students who wish to join the Course after completing their 10+2 pass or equivalent examination have to undergo three stages to pursue the CS Course

  • Foundation Programme 
  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme

The other route is for the students who want to join the CS course after passing the relevant graduation degree, these students have to go through two stages of the CS course, which are given below. These students have the chance of starting from the second level. 

  • Executive Programme
  • Professional Programme

Further, it must be noted that the Foundation Programme can only be pursued by 10+2 pass or equivalent students of Arts, Science or Commerce stream (excluding Fine Arts). The

Executive Programmes can be pursued by a Graduate or Post Graduate of all streams except Fine Arts.

And the Professional Programme can be pursued only after clearing the Executive Programme of CS Course. 

Skill Set Required to be a Chartered Accountant

A CS is mainly responsible for legal compliance and corporate governance which is a challenging task and requires vigilance at all times. Not just clearing the CS exam, but a CS aspirant must also focus on inculcating the skill set that is required to be a Company Secretary. 

CS is the backbone of an organization. Thus, with great power comes great responsibility and to fulfill these responsibilities, one needs to have certain skills. 

Given below are some of the basic skills that are required to become a successful CS.

  • Time Management Skills
  • Legal Knowledge 
  • Investment Skills
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Diligence
  • Meticulous Planning
  • Integrity
  • Project Management 
  • Discipline
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Analytical Skills
  • Influencing Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Good Judgment
  • Decision-Making Skills
  • Eye for Detail
  • Leadership Skills
  • Creativity
  • Manipulative Skills

CS Course Details After 12th

The CS Course is offered by the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI). To pursue the CS Course, one has to undergo the 3-stage process of examinations followed by training. The complete CS Course Details After 12th are explained below:

CS is a professional course that can be pursued after completing 10+2 or Graduation from recognised institutions. To pursue the CS Course after 10+2, one has to undergo the CS Foundation Program (duration of 8 months) followed by the CS Executive Program (9 months) and finally the CS Professional Program (15 months). However, aspirants can also complete the course in 2 years if they have completed their graduation in the relevant stream. In such a case, they do not have to complete the CS Foundation Programme.

Eligibility to become Company Secretary (CS)

A student aspiring to become a CS must clear three stages after Class 12. The three stages involved in becoming CS include Foundation, Intermediate and Final. Institute of Company Secretaries in India (ICSI) offer ICSI Foundation, Intermediate and Final.

Subjects Combination: Candidates with any stream in Class 12 with zeal to excel in the field are eligible to take up CS Course.

Eligibility of a CS Course:

  • After Class 12, students must take up ICSI CS Foundation Course. The duration of the CS foundation course is eight months. It is mandatory to pass the CS foundation course within three years of the admission.
  • After qualifying the ICSI CS Foundation course, students can enrol in ICSI CS Intermediate Course. However, Graduates and Post Graduates (excluding Fine Arts students) can directly enrol in the Intermediate CS Course without going for the CS Foundation course.
  • Students who clear ICSI CS Intermediate course are eligible for the last stage of the ICSI CS course, i.e., Final.
  • Training is the most important aspect for students pursuing courses in CS. Students must undergo short-term training programmes during the Intermediate level and after the final level exams of CS Course.
  • For obtaining an Associate Membership of ICAI, it is mandatory to acquire practical training after the completion of Intermediate or Final level CS Course.
  • After the successful completion of practical training and final level ICSI course, these students are eligible as Associate CS.
  • The career of a CS begins only after getting eligibility as Associate CS.

Types of Job Roles Company Secretary (CS)

Check out the different capacities in which a CS can work. The job profiles of a CS include the following:

Company Registrar: A company registrar is regarded as an important component of a company/organisation’s hierarchy.

Legal Advisor: A legal advisor assists the company in case of any legal dispute or issue. Legal advisors also make sure that the company complies with the bureaucratic and statutory directives, securities and corporate laws.

Chief Administrative Officer: A chief administrative officer monitors the general administrative activities of the company. These officers are also responsible for safeguarding all legal and other confidential documents of the company.

Corporate Planner: Corporate planner keeps a discerning eye on the expansion opportunities of the company. These officials also take care of mergers, joint ventures, collaborations and takeovers within the company or outside.

Principal Secretary: The responsibility of a principal secretary is to manage all aspects of corporate meetings like board meetings, annual general meetings, meeting with private and government delegations and important clients.

Corporate Policymaker: The responsibility of a corporate policymaker is to plan short term and long term corporate policies of a company. These policymakers also advise the company board when current policies are brought up for review from time to time.

Member of Board of Directors: Sometimes, CS take the responsibility of one of the members of the board of directors of a company to provide secretarial and expert advice.

Miscellaneous Responsibilities: Apart from roles mentioned above, company secretaries are also required for tax management of a company, filing of tax and assessment of tax.  

Employment Opportunities for CS

A qualified CS is capable of finding a job in the public and private sectors, financial institutions and banks. Company secretaries are also required in company law boards, various government departments, Department of Company Affairs etc. Top organisations offer attractive pay packages to company secretaries.

A CS can also set up their own consultancy after obtaining a certificate of practice. Companies with a paid up share of Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 2 crores are required to hire/ employ the services of practicing company secretaries for issuing corporate compliance certificates.

Since company secretaries have immense knowledge of a wide range of subjects, they can take up the position of a lecturer/ visiting faculty in different academic institutes.

Top Recruiting Agencies for CS

As per Companies Act 1956, any company with a paid-up share capital of Rs. 2 crores must appoint a full-time CS. Therefore, the employment scope for CS in India is vast and diversified. During the course, students must take up an internship in companies with a share capital of Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 2 crores.

Employment Sector/Industry for Company Secretary (CS)

A CS is a professional who performs the legal activities of an organisation that they are associated with. A CS professional prepares and keeps track of all the legal documents of a company including tax returns and compliance forms, and keeps general records along with evaluating legal aspects of a firm.

CS is a well-paid job role as it provides lucrative opportunities and reputed profiles like that of a Company Registrar, Legal Advisor, Chief Administrator Officer, Corporate Planner, Corporate Policy Maker etc. The CS course fee ranges between INR 4 LPA and 5 LPA.

Planning to choose Company Secretary (CS) as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Company Secretary (CS)

CS in diverse sectors earns a satisfactory salary. Most companies pay more for highly skilled and experienced CS. The average salary structure of CS is detailed below.

Job Profile

Starting Salary per annum (in INR)

Mid Level Salary per annum (in INR)

Senior Level Salary per annum (In INR)

CS or Company Secretary

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,00,000

Rs. 9,00,000 – 12,00,000

Legal Advisor

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 4,00,000 – 5,00,000

Rs. 10,00,000

Principal Secretary

Rs. 3,00,000

Rs. 6,00,000

Rs. 9,00,000 – 12,00,000

Note: The above figures are an estimate and may vary from individual to individual and company to company.

Books & Study Material to Become Company Secretary (CS)

CS and future aspirants can refer some of the books listed below to enhance knowledge.

  • Company Law by Sangeet Kedia
  • CS Executive Company Law by NS Zad
  • Tax Laws and Practice by Sangeet Kedia
  • Cost and Management Accounting by NS Zad
  • Economic and Commercial Laws by Tejpal Seth
  • Taxman Company Accounts and Auditing by NS Zad

Pros of becoming a Company Secretary (CS)

  • The market demand for the career as a CS is on the upswing.
  • CS profession has tremendous growth along with outstanding remuneration.
  • CS is a professional course, thus offers professional positions in companies with great reputation and higher salaries.
  • There is no age restriction for CS Course. Anyone, whenever feels right, can pursue a CS Course. 
  • CS has flexible working hours which helps to manage work-life balance.
  • CS job is of high satisfaction, it can guarantee one with a secured life.
  • CS generally deals with higher authorities if the country, thus building strong connections is a plus.

Cons of becoming a Company Secretary (CS)

  • CS Course does not have much recognition abroad.
  • Since the responsibilities and roles associated with the CS position are highly accountable and visible, there is constant pressure on CS to deliver results.
  • To complete the CS Course is an uphill task, the CS exams are really difficult to crack.
  • CS has less work opportunities in India when compared with countries abroad.

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