How to become a Company Secretary – step by step guide

We frequently see a “secretary” as someone who takes notes from the boss, follows rules set by upper management, and serves drinks to guests. A company secretary, together with the CEO, CFO, and managing director, is acknowledged as crucial managerial employees, shattering this false notion. Making a career as a corporate secretary is quite rewarding because companies strive to maintain their status as among the world’s top economic and industrial firms.

Who is a Company Secretary?

A Company Secretary (CS) is an in-house legal expert or a compliance officer employed to ensure the efficient administration of the company. He is not just the master of Company Law but also he knows the Interpretation of Law. They act as chief advisor to Board of Directors on subjects like creating financial reports, conducting business, ensuring corporate governance, developing corporate strategy and dealing with situations involving conflicts, international mergers etc.

Stages on how to become a Company Secretary.

  1. CSEET (Foundation level)

The first step to become a Company Secretary is after you clear 10+2 exams, register for CSEET course with Institute of Company Secretaries of India(ICSI). It’s a simple process and can be done online. Incase you need any guidance for the process you can contact us on

This is an entry level entrance exam. The subjects are Communication, Logical Reasoning, Legal aptitude, Economics and business environment, Current affairs. Its an online MCQ based exam without any negative marking. 

CSEET exams are held four(4) times in a year.

Once you clear this exam you can move on to the next level – CS Executive.

  1. CS EXECUTIVE (Intermediate Level)

Once you clear CSEET Course, you can register for the Executive programme with the ICSI. However, the students who are exempt from appearing for CSEET and can directly register for CS Executive are as follows :-

  • Company Secretaries Foundation Programme passed students 
  • ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India) Final Course passed students. 
  • ICMAI (The Institute of Cost Accountants of India) Final Course passed students.
  • Graduates (Minimum 50% Marks) 
  • Post-Graduates

There are 7 papers in the CS Executive divided into two(2) modules. 

Paper NoMODULE 1Paper No.MODULE 2
1.Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General laws5.Capital Market & Securities Laws
2.Company Law & Practice6.Economic, Commercial and Intellectual Property Laws
3.Setting up of business, Industrial & labour laws7.Tax Laws & Practice
4.Corporate Accounting and Financial Management
  1. Complete One day Orientation Programme (ODOP) : It is a Programme conducted by ICSI in their different chapters just to introduce students towards the CS journey. Students need to complete this before appearing for the Executive exams.
  1. Qualifying Pre test : It is a mock exam conducted by ICSI via online mode which has to be cleared in order to be eligible to appear in the CS executive exams.
  1. Clear the CS Executive Exams : The exam is conducted twice a year. Both modules can be given together or one by one. Each paper the student needs to score a minimum of 40 marks and aggregate of 50 marks per module to clear the level. Its an advanced level and much tougher than the first level. 
  1. Register for the Professional Programme : After clearing the Executive Programme you can register for the professional programme. This is the final stage of the CS Course. There are 7 subjects divided into two modules.
Paper NoMODULE 1Paper No.MODULE 2
1.Environment, Social and Governance  (ESG) – Principles & Practice.5.Strategic Management & Corporate Finance.
2.Drafting, Pleadings and Appearances.6.Corporate Restructuring, Valuation and Insolvency.
3.Compliance Management, Audit & Due Diligence7.Elective 2(Select one Paper out of 5 elective 5 Elective Papers)
4.Elective 1(Select one Paper out of 4 Elective Papers)
  1. Qualify Pre test : It is a mock exam conducted by ICSI via online mode which has to be cleared in order to be eligible to appear in the CS professional exams.
  1. Clear the Professional Programme : This is the last step to become a CS. Pass marks is same as mentioned for CS executive. Its an advanced level.

After you clear all the three levels of exam there is another set of steps involving trainings EDP(One Month), Practical Training (21months) and CLDP (30-60days).