What Do Branch Offices Do in Stellaris?

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Branch Offices are a unique way to interact with planets owned by other civilizations. They provide monthly Credits based on the Trade Value of the planet they are built on.

Branch Offices also let you build Corporate Buildings, which add significant bonuses to the planet itself and to whoever owns them.

Aside from that, your civilization will also enjoy empire-wide bonuses that vary depending on what Corporate Buildings you build.

To establish Branch Offices in Stellaris, you need to play as a “Corporate” Empire. These empires are only available if you own the MegaCorp DLC.

Only Corporate empires can establish Branch Offices / Stellaris
Only Corporate empires can establish Branch Offices

What Are Branch Offices?

Branch Offices are a unique building that you can establish on planets owned by foreign empires. You can’t build Branch Offices on your own planets.

Branch Offices give you a monthly Energy Credit revenue that is equal to 50% of the planet’s Trade Value.

Note: If your empire has the “Free Traders” trait, you will get monthly Credits equal to 55% of the planet’s Trade Value instead.

Because the Credits you get from Branch Offices rely on a planet’s trade value, it is recommended that you build them on well-established planets or worlds with potential for growth.


Establishing a Branch Office

Because you can only build a Branch Office on foreign planets, you will need to make contact with another empire, which may take some time.

A good way to find another civilization is through exploration. You can use your starting science ship for this or build a new one dedicated to exploring the galaxy.

Once you’ve contacted another spacefaring empire, you can start work on establishing your Branch Office on one of their planets.


Requirements to Establish a Branch Office

Even if you’ve successfully made contact, you can’t just build your Mega-Corporation’s branch on an alien planet straight away.

You will need to meet certain requirements first:

  • Your empire needs the “Corporate” authority trait. You can select a preset empire with the trait or make your own empire from scratch.
  • You need to either have a Commercial Pact, be in a Federation with, or be the Overlord of the empire that owns the planet.
  • The owner of the planet must not be a fellow Corporate empire, a Hive Mind empire, or a Machine Intelligence empire.
  • The planet must not have an existing Branch Office
  • You must have at least 1,000 Energy Credits in your stores and 50 Influence. The Energy Credit required might increase the farther the planet is from your borders.

Note: It is easier to meet some of these requirements if you have good relations with the empire in question.

Forming a Commercial Pact with another Empire / Stellaris
Forming a Commercial Pact with another Empire

How To Establish a Branch Office

Once you’ve met the requirements, founding your Branch Office is fairly straight forward.

  1. In the Galaxy Map, left-click on a foreign star system with a colonized planet.
  2. You can tell if a star has a colonized planet if there’s a planet icon next to the star’s name. It will also have a special border around its name.
  3. Clicking on the star will take you to the System Map.
  4. Find the colonized planet and click its name. The planet overview will pop up.
  5. Next, select the “Corporate” tab at the bottom of the planet overview.
  6. On the Corporate Tab, click the “Establish Branch Office” button.
  7. You should also see the number of Credits you can potentially get every month in this tab.
Establishing your Branch Office / Stellaris
Establishing your Branch Office

Once established, your Branch Office will give you its bonuses until you decide to close it. You can close your Branch Office at any time.

Note: If your Commercial Pact expires, membership to the Federation ends, or your vassal becomes independent, your Branch Office will still remain open.

Keeping your Branch Office open without a Commercial Pact or the other requirements will give the planet’s owner Casus Belli on your empire, which can lead to war.


Corporate Buildings

Corporate Buildings let you customize what bonuses you can get from your Branch Office / Stellaris
Corporate Buildings let you customize what bonuses you can get from your Branch Office

Aside from the monthly Energy Credits, you can also earn more resources when you upgrade your Branch Office with Corporate Buildings.

Corporate Buildings are mutually beneficial upgrades. They offer a bonus to the planet itself, which benefits its owner, and it gives you an empire-wide bonus as well.

Note: You can only build 1 Corporate Building to start, but as the planet grows, you can build more; up to 4 in total.

Here is a list of Corporate Buildings that you can build:

Corporate Building Planet Bonus Empire-wide Bonus
Amusement Megaplex +10 Amenity +10 Energy Credits
Commercial Forum +1 Merchant Job +25% Credit bonus to Branch Office
Corporate Embassy +2 Clerk Jobs +5% Diplomatic Weight to Economy
Executive Retreat +5% to planet Trade Value +10% to Empire Amenities
Imperial Concession Port None +8 Energy Credits
+25% Credit bonus to Branch Office
+5% Diplomatic Weight to Economy
Fast Food Chain +1 Farmer Job +10 Food
Mercenary Liaison Office +1 Soldier Job
+100 Army Experience
+10 to Naval Capacity
Private Military Industries +2 Clerk Jobs +3 Alloy
Private Mining Consortium +1 Miner Job +10 Minerals
Private Research Enterprises +2 Clerk Jobs +6 Research
Public Relations Firm +2 Clerk Jobs +6 Unity
Temple of Prosperity +2 Preacher Jobs
+50% Spiritualist Ethics Attraction
Virtual Entertainment Studios +2 Clerk Jobs +6 Consumer Goods
Xeno-Outreach Agency +5% to planet Trade Value +25% to Immigration Pull

You can build the Corporate Buildings on the “Corporate” tab on the planet overview.


Criminal Branch Offices

Corporate Empires with the Criminal Heritage trait play a little differently / Stellaris
Corporate Empires with the Criminal Heritage trait play a little differently

Some Corporate Empires can have the Criminal Heritage trait. This trait gives you the opportunity to play a corporate playstyle more aggressively.

Unlike regular Corporate Empires, Criminal Empires can establish their Branch Offices on foreign planets any time.

They don’t need a Commercial Pact, or to be in the same Federation, or be the overlord of the empire in question.

Aside from the usual Branch Office benefits, these Criminal versions generate Crime on the planet they are established on.

Your empire also gains bonus Credits based on how high the crime level is on the planet, from 25% of the planet’s Trade Value at 0 Crime, to 75% of Trade Value at 100 Crime.

Note: Establishing a Criminal Branch Office can harm relations with the target empire, and can give them Casus Belli against you, leading to war.

Increased Crime on a planet can lower its stability level, causing rebellion. The rebels can then start their own faction and may be absorbed by another empire.

Note: If you build a Criminal Branch Office on a planet with 0 Crime, there’s a chance it will close down on its own. You won’t be able to build another one for 10 in-game years.


Criminal Corporate Buildings

Just like their more legitimate counterparts, Criminal Branch Offices have their own Corporate Buildings, with their own unique effects.

They still provide the planet they are built on bonus resources but increase Crime in return. They also provide bonuses to the empire that established them.

Note: The Criminal Heritage trait prevents an empire from forming Commercial Pacts, hence locking the empire out of regular Corporate Buildings.

Here’s a list of Criminal Corporate Buildings that you can build:

Corporate Building Planet Effects Empire-wide Bonus
Bio-Reprocessing Plants +5 to Planet Trade Value
+25 Crime
+10 Food
Concealed Drug Labs +5 to Planet Trade Value
+25 Crime
+6 Consumer Goods
Disinformation Center +2 Clerk Jobs
-25% Governing Ethics Attraction
+40 Crime
+5 Intel
Illicit Research Labs +2 Clerk Jobs
+40 Crime
+6 Research
Pirate Free Haven +1 Soldier Job
+100 Army Experience
+40 Crime
+10 to Naval Capacity
Smuggler’s Port +1 Merchant Jobs
+50 Crime
+25% Credit bonus to Branch Office
Subversive Shrine +2 Preacher Jobs
+50% Spiritualist Ethics Attraction
+25 Crime
Syndicate Front Corporations +2 Clerk Jobs
+40 Crime
+6 Unity
Underground Clubs +10 Amenity
+40 Crime
+10 Energy Credits
Wildcat Mining Operations +5 to Planet Trade Value
+25 Crime
+10 Minerals
Wrecking Yards +5 to Planet Trade Value
+25 Crime
+3 Alloy
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Ron Agor

Kendoka, artist and gamer. If weekend warrior was a thing, he is it, literally and figuratively.