A Guide to Serving Process on the NY Secretary of State

A registered agent is someone who receives official legal documents including notices, subpoenas, wage garnishments, and lawsuit papers on behalf of an individual or company.

By default, The Secretary of State is the statutory agent for service of process on domestic (formed in New York) and foreign (formed in jurisdictions outside of New York) business entities.

Anyone who wishes to serve process on corporations, limited liability partnerships (LLP), limited liability companies (LLC), or limited partnerships must complete service of process on the Secretary of State.

Delivering service of process to the NY Secretary of State

Correctly identify the entity to be served

Any legal proceeding begins with a successful process of service, so you need to ensure that all documentation reaches the right people at the right time.

With more than a million domestic and foreign business entities registered with the Department of State (DOS), there’s always the possibility of serving the wrong company. Names can get mixed up especially when the name of the company you’re trying to serve sounds similar or is identical to other entities.

A simple case of mistaken identity can forfeit your case and invalidate prior judgments that ruled in your favor. The process server is responsible for verifying the correct entity with the DOS to ensure legal papers are delivered to the intended recipient.

Obtain the DOS search page

Once the process server identifies the correct business entity that has to be served, DOS will provide the “Current Status Information” or the Search Page of the intended recipient. Process servers with access to the DOS database may print their own copies of the Search Page.

writing Complete a Service of Process Cover Sheet

The process server fills out the Service of Process Cover Sheet, which contains the following details:

  • complete name of the entity to be served
  • basic information of the Process Server
  • the section of law under which service is being made
  • the manner in which the applicable fee is being paid

Deliver complete documents

Two duplicate copies of the process along with the Search Page and Service Process Cover Sheet will be hand-delivered by the process server to the office of the DOS at One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York. Applicable fees must also be paid to authorized personnel.

If documents are found to be altered, incomplete, or not duplicate copies, the service will be invalid. This will apply even if DOS fails to notice the error and “accepts” the service.

DOS will presume that the intended recipient is the name that appears in the provided DOS Search page, even if it is different from the name indicated in the Service of Process Cover Sheet. DOS then mails one copy of the process to the address provided by the defendant.

Work with reputable NY process servers

Serve Index has helped countless entities, law firms, and individuals serve their defendants promptly and accurately. Depending on the urgency of your case, we offer same day service, 24 to 48 hours rush service, and 3 to 5 days standard service.

Ensure prompt and accurate service of process and get a quote today.

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