Kind of following on from the discussion of how we're calculating the values of rewards and bonuses for contracts you complete in the game, each contract is broken up by the contract-giver, and the player has a status with each and every one of them.
Some of them might be massive (The Magellan Empire itself) while others might be smaller in scope (Octovin - a medical equipment supplier based in Parssus and largely servicing it and The Two Sisters).
Working for one place exclusively will gain you greater access to more lucrative trade routes so you'll make more money, but when you get to that location you may no longer be in an area where contracts from that particular contract-giver appear, so it'll behoove you to gain the favour of more than one in your play session.
Narrative aspects of the game WILL impact upon your standing with factions as well, so before you betray that person who you know is a representative of one government or another, think carefully about how likely the backlash is to hurt your current standings.
Another note: contracts increase your standing marginally, but tank your standing dramatically. So if you've got a contract and you only have 6 hours left to get some electronics shipments to Tega and receive a message asking you to come urgently to Maru and help out a person in need, you may have to really weigh up your options.