Monday, September 21, 2009

Selecting Your Agent For Service of Process...

One of my favorite small business bloggers is Joseph Dang at San Diego Small Business Law Blog.  He recently posted about selecting your agent for service of process.  Joseph had come across a great online book entitled Ten Fatal Mistakes Business Owners Make and How to Avoid Them, published by Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC, a great Business Law Firm in Phoenix.  Both Joseph and I encourage all small business owners to read this great work.

Mistake #4 was failure to use a qualified statutory agent.  In California we call these agents "Registered Agent for Service of Process."  If you form a legal entity, such as a corporation or limited liability company, you need to designate an agent whose address is registered with that your states Secretary of State.  This person is your official authorized agent to accept service of lawsuits or other legal communications for your company.

Failure to use a trustworthy agent can lead to problems, such as failing to respond in a timely manner, or outright concealment by the agent.  I, like many business attorneys, offer this service for all my clients.  The benefit is that I will be the first to receive notice of claims or lawsuits and can ensure that a timely response is made.  CPA's, accountants and other service providers can also act as agent for their clients.  I would advise that you use an attorney or a company that is dedicated to providing this service.

While the Out-House General Counsel does not endorse these companies specifically, here are few companies that are major players in this market:

  • National Registered Agents, Inc.
  • Corporation Trust Company 
  • Corporation Service Company 
These are the big three.  As with any service provider you choose, perform your due diligence before retaining anyone.  I would like to thank Joseph Dang and Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC. for this information.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please contact me at [email protected] or (714) 795-0930.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousAugust 13, 2010 8:53 AM

    You can order registered agent services online from National Registered Agents, Inc via