If An Entity Terminates, Can its Registered Agent Still Be Served With Process?

Whether you are an individual or part of an entity, being served with process means you are served with documentation for legal proceedings. Service of process is when one party to a lawsuit or other legal action gives an appropriate notice of intended legal action to the other party; for example, when the plaintiff in a lawsuit has the defendant 'served'. This is done in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over the other party, and to allow them to respond before a court or other legal body (such as a tribunal).

However, what happens when an entity is terminated? You might hear about stories on the news where a company has gone bankrupt, or just gone out of business, and yet people are still filing lawsuits against the company. Or the sole owner has died and the entity is terminated, yet it is still embroiled in litigation. Can process still be served to the representatives of an entity that no longer exists?

The short answer is 'maybe'. Specifics can vary depending on the state the entity did business in, so you will want to speak with a licensed legal representative regarding your specific questions. But generally speaking, registered agents of a business entity may still able to be served process in legal matters. The reason for this is that the registered agent's obligation is to the entity itself, as opposed to specific individuals involved with the entity. So unless their contract specifies otherwise, the agent's responsibility terminates with the termination of the entity. However, if the registered agent is unable to be served, process can still be served on the President, Vice-President, Trustees, general managers, directors, or anyone else who was in charge of the entity when it was terminated.

If you're looking for a professional process server or if you have any questions, contac our experts at Same Day Process Service. 

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