Form 288a Appointment of Director or Secretary

The law requires that all limited companies have officers. These are known as directors and secretaries. Companies may have more than one director and they are responsible for managing the company's affairs in accordance with its articles of association and the law. There are certain responsibilities that apply to all directors within all different types of companies, and these have to be upheld whether the company is trading or not.

The company secretary also has an important role in the company. The main responsibility includes acting as the chief administrator of the company.

A private limited company must have one director and one secretary. It is a key requirement as outlined in the Companies Act of 1985. A public limited company must have at least two directors and a company secretary.

Generally anyone can become a director, and it is up to the members to appoint a director of their choosing to run the company for them. The only restrictions are:

  • They cannot be bankrupt
  • They must not have been disqualified by a court from acting as a company director
  • They cannot be under 16 ( Scotland only)
  • They cannot be over the age of 70 for a PLC or their subsidiaries unless specifically approved.

Company secretaries likewise also do not need any special qualifications if they are the secretary of private limited company. However if they are to be the company secretary of a public limited company they will need to be a person who has the proper knowledge and experience to carry out the role, as there are a variety of duties involved.

As the officers of the company directors and secretaries have crucial positions. Thus if there is any change of the directors and secretary and their details then the forms 288 must be sent to Companies House. All changes must be sent to the Registrar within 14 days of the change.

Companies House provide three types of Form 288:

  • 288a - for the appointment of an officer
  • 288b - for an officer ceasing to act, for example, removal, resignation, death etc.
  • 288c - for a change in details of an officer (change of name, new address etc)

It has been known for fraudsters to pose as legitimate directors by submitting some of these forms without the knowledge of the actual directors and secretary. As company directors have the power to make purchases and enter into credit arrangements for the company, the company may be at risk if this occurs. So Companies House offers companies an electronic and secure system for notifying changes of directors and the company secretary.

These 288 documents once received by Companies House and noted by the Registrar are available to buy from checkSURE for just £4.95.

* 288a –Appointment of Director or secretary
PDF example of 288a Appointment of Director or secretary

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