Business Formations - Business Dissolutions


Selecting an Agent for Service of Process

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All domestic (California) and foreign (out of state or out of country) business entities must select an Agent for Service of Process (Agent) when they are formed, but may change the Agent at any time. The Agent is the person who is actually served with a lawsuit should the entity be named as a defendant. Many entities select an owner as Agent. Others select a management company or law firm. A business entity may not be its own Agent in California. We believe entities are best served by entrusting a law firm to protect their interests, and consequently, invite you to contact us regarding your entity’s requirement for an Agent.

There are significant disadvantages to having an owner serve as Agent. If a plaintiff who files a lawsuit is nasty, he or she may select a time and place to serve you that may cause additional harm and / or embarrassment. We have seen situations where defendants have been served with frivolous lawsuits under the following circumstances:

At his place of business when the owner was with a customer,
At a Rotary lunch,
While dining at her private club,
At his place of business in the presence of his staff,
At a Chamber of Commerce function,
Upon leaving church, and
At her home in the presence of her spouse and children.

Whether your business entity is a corporation, non-profit corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, general partnership, limited liability partnership, general partnership, or unincorporated association, it must designate an Agent for Service of Process if it is conducting business in California.

For a modest fee, we can accept service of any lawsuit filed in California, we can provide you with a brief explanation of the claims, and we can provide you with our recommendations. Please contact us if you intend to form a new business entity or if you would like to change Agents.