Companies House – Directors and Secretaries Guide

This Companies House Directors and Secretaries article is a guide only and should be read with the relevant legislation.


The director, or directors, must manage the company’s affairs in accordance with its articles of association and the law. Certain responsibilities apply to all directors, whether executive or non-executive, and to all types of company whether trading or not. The company secretary has a few duties set out in the legislation, and may be given others by the articles or the directors.

Private companies must have at least one director. Public limited companies must have at least two directors and a company secretary. A private limited company does not have to have a company secretary but it can choose to include in its articles a requirement to have one. From 1st October 2008 all companies whether private or public must have at least one director who is a natural person i.e. an individual, and who is at least 16 years old.

Any company that had only corporate directors on 8th November 2006 (the day the Companies Act 2006 received Royal Assent) will have until 1st October 2010 to appoint a natural person director.

Any director appointed before 1st October 2008 who has not reached the age of 16 before that date will automatically cease to be a director on 1st October 2008.

If you need more information, contact 0303 123 4500.

This guide:

  • explains some of the main responsibilities of a company’s officers; and
  • deals with some of the key requirements  in relation to the delivery of documents to Companies House.

The guide will not tell you everything about being a director or secretary, but it will give you a good idea of your responsibilities as they relate to Companies House.

If, after reading this guide, you are in doubt about your responsibilities, you should consider seeking professional advice.

Companies House business advice Crown Copyright © 2004-2013
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