Locating the registered agent to properly serve your lawsuit

You're ready to sue, but who do you serve?

If you are suing a PERSON, you can simply have them served at their home, business or anywhere else.

If you are suing a BUSINESS, you need to find out whether it is a sole proprietorship operating under a DBA (doing business as) or a corporation, LLC or limited partnership.

For a sole proprietorship, you serve the owner(s) and he/they should probably be named in the lawsuit.  If you are in an area where the sheriff provides process service, you might want to have the sheriff serve the owner at the business if you want to bring your lawsuit to the attention of employees and customers.

If you are suing an entity such as a corporation you need to serve the REGISTERED AGENT -- not the owner or officers.

You can find the registered agents online in most states:

AZ: Ariz. Corp. Comm. -- Corporations Division - http://starpas.azcc.gov/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wsbroker1/connect.p?app=names-report.p
Verified 9/21/14

CA: California Secretary of State - California Business Search - http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/
DBA filings: http://www.coordinatedlegal.com/fbn.html
Verified 3/1/13

LA County DBA filings: Business Filings and Registration (562) 462-2177

District of Columbia: http://dc.gov/more_services.asp?pagenum=3&tab=2&category=services -- couldn't find a searchable database

DE: Division of Corporations - Online Services - http://corp.delaware.gov/services.shtml
Verified 6/4/13

FL: Division of Corporations - Florida Department of State - http://www.sunbiz.org/corpweb/inquiry/cormenu.html

GA: Secretary of State Search Corporate Database by Entity or Agent Name - http://www.sos.state.ga.us/corporations/corpsearch.htm

IL: Search by corporate name - http://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/

IN: Search by name online: https://secure.in.gov/sos/online_corps/name_search.aspx  verified 4/13

MI: Search by name -  http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/sr_corp.asp - verified 11/1/11

NC: Corporate filings - http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/corporations/

NE: Corporation inquiry - https://www.nol.org/sos/corp/corpsearch.cgi?nav=search

NV: Search by corporation name - https://esos.state.nv.us/SOSServices/AnonymousAccess/CorpSearch/CorpSearch.aspx

NY: Search Our Corporation and Business Entity Database - http://appsext5.dos.state.ny.us/corp_public/CORPSEARCH.ENTITY_SEARCH_ENTRY

PA: Search by corporation name

TX - SOSDirect -  Online Business Service from the Office of the Secretary of State - http://www.sos.state.tx.us/corp/sosda/index.shtml FEE based!  4/13:  after one week no reply to email, long hold on phone.


10/4/04: Telephone to Secretary of State: 512-463-5555 No fee
Facsimile: 512-463-5709 $5.00 per entity
E-Mail: corpinfo@sos.state.tx.us

Corporations Section
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 13697
Austin, Texas 78711-3697
$5.00 per entity Online Access: SOSDirect <sosda/index.shtml> Subscription *
WA - http://www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/

Please let me know if links are no longer working!