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In general, an officer is a person who has the obligation of carrying out the responsibilities and functions of an office, whether it be duty or charge, a position of trust, or the right to engage in public or private employment.

  • A public officer is typically described as someone who has been elected or appointed to perform the duties of an office for the public good. Constitutional clauses or a statute must be used to create a public office. Statutes determine the qualifications, responsibilities, and salary of public officials.
  • A corporation officer is a person who is in charge of the day-to-day business operations of a firm. Officers in a corporation are hired and fired by the board of directors, have the authority to bind the corporation to contracts as its agent, and are subject to the same fiduciary duties as directors. The president, secretary, and treasurer of a corporation are required in most states. Other positions, such as Vice President, are normally optional and at the board of directors' discretion.
  • A military officer is someone commissioned in the Armed Services.

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]