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
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
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
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!