What Is an Intra-Company Transfer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2019
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An intra-company transfer is a process that involves the movement or transfer of employees from one location to another within the company’s roster of currently operated locations. Several different types of employees may be involved in this type of transfer, including key executives, managers, or even employees who are hand-selected to help open a new location or participate long-term in a project based at a different office or facility. At times, this type of employment transfer involves moving the employee from one part of the country to another, but may also involve reassigning the employee to a facility that is internationally located.

The basics of an intra-company transfer involve nothing more than re-assigning the employee to a new physical facility operated by the employer. This type of activity occurs in many different industries. For example, the manager of a successful restaurant associated with a national chain may be reassigned to take over the management of another restaurant owned by that chain, often in an attempt to improve the business model and profitability of that newly assigned restaurant. Large corporations may also send talented executives who have been successful in one region of the company to one that is less successful, in hopes of stimulating growth and productivity in that area. Typically, there is a specific reason for the intra-company transfer, either to salvage the business in a low producing area, or to launch a new operation using the best possible talent that the company can assign.


While the process of a domestic intra-company transfer is relatively simple, managing one on an internal basis requires additional steps. With a domestic transfer, the company normally assists the employee in the relocation effort, securing living quarters and paying moving costs. Internal changes in accounting process and listing the employee with a different location are arranged with ease. By contrast, an intra-company transfer to an international location may require additional steps such as securing a company transfer work permit, helping the employee obtain a passport, and in general making sure the transfer is in compliance with any governmental regulations that may apply.

The benefits of an intra-company transfer often include the ability to place key employees in positions that allow for continued professional growth to the benefit of both the employee and the company. For example, a junior executive who performed well in one position may be offered a promotion to take over management responsibilities of a similar nature in a newly developed territory, or possibly the chance to take over management of a troubled territory, based on his or her performance. Under the best of circumstances, the intra-company transfer allows the business to retain a valuable employee who is currently being pursued by competitors offering a number of incentives, while also offering that employee the chance to expand his or her skills without having to seek employment elsewhere.


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