Institute of Company Secretaries of India has revised Guidelines for “Advertisement by Company Secretary.” These guidelines includes details of permitted and restricted advertisements. Guidelines for Websites of Professionals.

*Most Imp: The Company Secretary or a firm of Company Secretaries shall not list his/her service(s) on any aggregator website such as Sulekha, Olx, Urbanclap, JustDial, Quikr or any other aggregator of similar category.

Effective Date:
These guidelines become effective on and from 1st April, 2020 and shall supersede the Guidelines for Advertisement by Company Secretaries in Practice issued by the Council in December 2007.

The following activities are permitted for a Company Secretary in Practice as means to advertise:
i.) Display the scope of work on his/her own website.
ii.) Creating a visual identity in compliance with the Guidelines for use of Individual Logo issued by the Council of ICSI.
iii.) Display of Location and d├ęcor of the workplace, meeting rooms, etc.
iv.) Display of Firm name, Logo or any other identity on Uniform, Office/s, office stationary& equipments/material and providing Training to Staff.
v.) Professional Updates and Write ups in any mode.
vi.) Appearing on local radio or television.
vii.) Giving speeches/lectures at any platform including Seminars, Conferences, training programmes, Workshops, Conventions, etc so organised by any forum.
viii.) Holding professional seminars, conferences and workshops.
ix.) Sponsoring any event (cultural, professional or otherwise) or helping with community programmes or doing voluntary work as a professional for charitable organizations.
x.) Use of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, WeChat, Telegram and Whatsapp or and other media of similar nature.

(i) not be in violation of provisions of Company Secretaries Act, 1980;
(ii) not be false or misleading;
(iii) not claim superiority over any or all other Company Secretaries;
(iv) not be indecent, sensational or otherwise of such nature which may bring disrepute to the profession or the Institute (ICSI);
(v) not contain fabricated or false testimonials or endorsements concerning the Company Secretary;
(vi) not refer the Company Secretaries in the terms such as “specialists” or “experts”;
Explanation: The advertisements shall not be self-laudatory and not include the words such as “best,” “better” or “cheapest.”
 (vii) not represent that the quality of the professional services to be performed is greater than the quality of professional services performed by other professionals. Statements comparing one professional’s services to that of another are not allowed;
(xi) not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any professional assignment;
(xii) in no way indicate that the charging of a fee is contingent on outcome, or that no fee will be charged in the absence of the desired outcome;
(xiii) not contain any reference to past successes or results which indicates a guarantee, warranty or prediction of result of future professional assignments. eg. We made M/s. Xxx win the case, Meet the masters;
(xiv) not be designed for “pleasing customers,” which might mislead or eventually harm customers or third parties;
(xv) not contain any humorous slogans. E.g. Save Rs. Xxxx Come to us, we will tell you how.

CS Can’t list his Name:
The Company Secretary or a firm of Company Secretaries shall not list his/her
 service(s) on any aggregator website such as Sulekha, Olx, Urbanclap, JustDial,
Quikr or any other aggregator of similar category.

Disclaimer on Website:
Disclaimer: The contents or claims in the website issued by the advertiser are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the Advertiser. The Institute of Company Secretaries of India does not own any responsibility whatsoever for such contents or claims by the Advertiser
Consequences of Non-Compliance
Any non compliance or violation of these Guidelines, as may be in force from time to time, in any manner whatsoever shall be deemed to be a professional misconduct and the concerned member shall be liable to disciplinary action under the Company Secretaries Act, 1980.

(Author – CS Divesh Goyal, GOYAL DIVESH & ASSOCIATES Company Secretary in Practice from Delhi and can be contacted at csdiveshgoyal@gmail.com)
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this document have been prepared on the basis of relevant provisions and as per the information existing at the time of the preparation. Though utmost efforts has made to provide authentic information, it is suggested that to have better understanding kindly cross-check the relevant sections, rules under the Companies Act, 2013. The observations of the author are personal view and the authors do not take responsibility of the same and this cannot be quoted before any authority without the written
Dated: 20th January, 2020


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