That first company directorship is a little bit like finding the key to the door. Suddenly, after all those years of hard work to get there, things can start to snow ball.
Other companies want you to become a director, you are asked to serve on committees or organisations within your chosen career. You get head hunted!
But with all the perks come some big responsibilities.
As a director of a limited company you must: follow the company’s rules, as shown in its articles of association and keep company records and report changes; file your accounts and your company tax return and tell other shareholders if you might personally benefit from a transaction the company makes.
Of course, you are part of an organisation which already does most, if not all of this; hiring other people to manage things day-to-day but the buck stops with you and your fellow directors.
You are all still legally responsible for your company’s records, accounts and performance. You may be fined, prosecuted or disqualified if you don’t live up to your responsibilities. All directors, whatever their age or level of experience, are bound by strict regulation and legislation, backed by severe penalties for the most serious transgressions.
You might become non-executive director or a professional director. You will find this post on the boards of public, private and not-for-profit organisations, working here the role has been described as a ‘critical friend’ reviewing the organisation’s performance and providing objective, strategic advice to the executive team.
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