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Corporate Office (Meaning: What It Is And Why It’s Important)

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What does corporate office mean in simple terms?

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What Is Corporate Office

A corporate office generally refers to a corporation’s main office where most of the strategic decisions are made and out of which the corporate executives maintain their offices.

In other words, a corporate office is a company’s main or central office.

Small corporations may have only one office where all their staff along with their corporate executives (like the CEO) perform their day-to-day functions and carry their office.

In that case, the corporate office is simple to identify.

However, larger companies may have offices around the country or around the world.

In that case, the corporate office is where you will generally find the company CEO’s office along with other top executives where global decisions relating to the business.

When a corporation has many offices, then you’ll notice that all offices will have their top managers report back to someone at the corporate office.

Corporate Office Definition

How do you define corporate office?

According to Investopedia, a corporate office is defined as:

A centralized office location where a company’s management and key staff operate and oversee overall business activities
Author

Type of Offices

When we refer to corporate offices, we tend to refer to physical offices where employees meet one another and work from a space owned or leased by the corporation.

Most medium to large corporations will have physical corporate offices where they will have their employees, staff, and executives interact with one another in person.

However, with the advancement of technology and particularly the consequences of the global pandemic in 2020, we have seen a significant surge of corporate offices that are now fully virtual.

In fact, many small businesses have abandoned physical office spaces in favor of virtual offices where their employees work from home and connect with one another through video applications, email, and other technological communication tools.

Why Is Corporate Office Important

Consider the corporate office of a corporation to be its “home” where crucial departments supporting the entire business carry out their day-to-day operations.

In most corporate offices, you will likely see:

  • Human resources carry out their main tasks
  • IT provides information technology support to other offices
  • Finance handles the company reporting, payroll, and budgeting 
  • Legal, contracting staff, and procurement handle such affairs for the company
  • Corporate executives maintain their offices such as the CEO and CFO
  • Audit and compliance staff carry out their day-to-day functions

And so on…

In essence, the purpose of the corporate office is to support the entire business, support all other facilities, and provide strategic support and guidance to the business.

For example, the corporate office will ensure that the company’s stores are properly functioning, and provide various types of support to manufacturing plants, warehouses, and other types of business operations.

Ultimately, the main role of the office corporate is to:

  • Provide mandatory functions to the business (such as compliance, tax, regulatory matters, legal etc)
  • Provide shared services to the business such as HR, IT, marketing, and other
  • Manage the company’s image and brand
  • Allow for the company to maintain control over the business 

Corporate Office Location

Large corporations will generally choose their corporate office location for various business and strategic reasons.

Some companies will establish their corporate office in a large city or business district allowing them to put their brand out there, attract local talent, take advantage of the city’s infrastructure and transportation system, and allow them to operate out of a vibrant location.

Some other companies will choose their corporate office locations based on how much the government or city provides them in tax cuts, grants, or other types of incentives for them to implement themselves in that city.

Smaller companies and small business owners will simply have their corporate office located at the same place where they started their business or in the same city.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are noticing more and more companies moving their corporate office from a large metropolitan areas to the city outskirts and less expensive cities due to the fact that many of their employees work from home.

Corporate Office vs Registered Office

What is the difference between corporate office and registered office?

A corporate office refers to a company’s main office representing the hub of the company where top corporate executives maintain their offices and out of which strategic and global decisions are made impacting the entire corporation.

On the other hand, a registered office is a legal requirement imposed by state laws to have corporations maintain a physical office within their state of incorporation, allowing the company to receive legal documents, and where a person is present during normal business hours.

For a very small company, it’s quite possible that the corporation’s registered office and corporate office are the same.

However, for bigger companies, the registered office will not necessarily be the same as a corporate office.

For example, a corporation may be incorporated in the state of New York and further to New York state law will require a registered office in the state.

However, the office corporate may be located in California.

Corporate Office FAQs

To better understand the meaning of corporate offices, let’s look at a few frequently asked questions.

What is the role of a corporate office

The “corporate office” is the nerve center of a corporation where global and strategic decisions are made for the company and out of which the main business support functions operate such as HR, finance, legal, IT, and more.

Why do corporations have corporate offices

Corporations have corporate offices primarily to support all the moving parts of the business.

In addition to that, most corporations are proud of their corporate offices where they will invest money to make it attractive, attract talent, have their employees get together, host events, meet clients, and more.

When you look at a company’s corporate office, you get an initial impression of how successful this company may be, its culture, prestige, and so on.

Are corporate offices where most of the company employees work

Although for many companies, corporate offices may provide working facilities to a large number of employees, it does not necessarily mean that most of the company employees work out of the corporate offices.

For example, McDonald’s has a large corporate office but most of its employees work out of the McDonald’s restaurants.

Walmart is another example where they may have a large corporate office but have most of their employees work out of their retail stores.

Corporate Offices Takeaways 

So there you have it folks!

What is a corporate office?

In summary, a corporate office is an office location where the company’s executive team and management team along with corporate support staff are located.

Very large corporations invest a lot of money in their corporate office to make it very attractive and prestigious allowing them to attract talent and demonstrate their success to the world.

Many will call the corporate office as “corporate” or “headquarter”.

Now that you know the meaning of corporate office, good luck with your research and investigation!

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Now, let’s look at a summary of our findings.

What Are Corporate Offices?

  • Corporations require different types of facilities to successfully carry out their business such as stores, warehouses, production facilities, and offices
  • Corporate offices provide various types of support functions to a business and are the place where top leaders of the corporation maintain their offices (like the CEO and CFO offices)
  • Out of a company’s corporate office, you’ll different types of supporting functions like IT, HR, finance, compliance, audit, and executive offices
Agency office 
Back office
Board of directors meeting 
Branch office
Business address
C Corporation
Corporate address 
Corporate governance 
Corporate minute book
Corporate officer 
Headquarter office
Hybrid office
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Main office
Manufacturing plant
Official office 
Principal office
Production facility 
Registered office 
Retail store
S Corporation 
Satellite office 
Tax home
Author
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Author
Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! I'm a lawyer by trade and an entrepreneur by spirit. I specialize in law, business, marketing, and technology (and love it!). I'm an expert SEO and content marketer where I deeply enjoy writing content in highly competitive fields. On this blog, I share my experiences, knowledge, and provide you with golden nuggets of useful information. Enjoy!

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