Suing a business might seem like a daunting task. The process server will be able to determine the correct person to be served on behalf of the business entity.
Who is Served?
As mentioned, it depends on the organization of the business. Take a look at the list below:
- Sole proprietorship: Serve owner
- Partnership: Serve one or more partners
- Limited partnership: Serve the partner who’s in-charge of running the business/agent for service of process
- Corporation (profit/non-profit): Serve an officer/Agent for service of process
- Limited liability company: Same as corporation
- In the alternative: If none of the above are available, you may serve the “person in charge at the time of service.” This includes a receptionist, key employee, or security guard if they deny the process server access to the person to be served.
If you’re not sure who the officer of the business is, call the business and ask! An alternative is to get this information from the office of the secretary of state for the state where the defendant is located.
Substituted or Personal Service
If you engage in personal service, the claim and summons must be given to the defendant. That means you just cannot put it in the defendant’s mailbox and leave. If the defendant refuses to accept the paper, put it down and leave. The service is valid and accomplished. If the person is not available, the process server leaves the papers at the business during business hours with the person in charge (substituted service). A copy of the summons and complaint must be served at the same address.
Post Office Box or PO Box
If the person or company you want to serve has a PO box, you need their street address to serve them. A process server will be able to obtain a street address from the Post Office by submitting a USPS form. There is a small fee for this process.
Proof of Service
A Proof of Service has to be filed with the court clerk once the service is completed. The Proof of Service form is signed by the person conducting the service.