What’s a Corp’s Office?

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A corporate office registers businesses and maintains a register of businesses operating within a state. It also administers the Uniform Commercial Code and is not to be confused with private organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

A corporate office is a state government agency responsible for registering businesses. In most cases, this responsibility does not extend to regulating the company’s activities. This type of agency should not be confused with private organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.

The exact task of a corporate office varies from state to state, but there are common themes. The most common major task is to maintain a register of businesses operating within a state. This allows the public to verify that a business was legitimately established and, per most states’ registration requirements, find out who owns the business.

Another common duty of a corporate office is to administer the Uniform Commercial Code. This is an interstate agreement that each state will follow some common practices and principles in its laws regarding business transactions such as sales. It is designed to make it easier for a company based in one state to trade in other states without inadvertently violating local laws.

Not all states use the corporate office name for their relevant agency. For example, Delaware has a division of companies. Some states combine relevant work with other duties, such as in Maine, where a single office oversees both company registrations and administration of the electoral system.

Once upon a time there was a Federal Corporation Office. This was an agency, headquartered in the Department of Commerce and Labor, founded in 1903. It conducted investigations into several key national industries such as oil, tobacco, and steel. The office was replaced in 1915 with the Federal Trade Commission, which remains operational into the 21st century.

There are some business-related organizations that use the name “bureau” but they are not government agencies and therefore do not count as a corporation bureau. By far the best known in the United States is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is a company made up of local franchises gathering information on how different reputable and reputable businesses are. The BBB gives each company a rating based on the number of complaints it receives from the public about the company and its ability to respond and handle complaints. Unlike a state corporations office, the BBB deals only with companies that require monitoring, and therefore its records are not comprehensive for all companies.

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