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1. What does the Service of Process Agent do?

The Service of Process Agent accepts service of process of legal documents (summons and complaints; notices and demands; etc.) on behalf of corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities registered in the records of the NC Department of The Secretary of State, Corporations Division. The Service of Process Agent perfects service by forwarding onto the last known address of the Registered Agent.

2. What happens when a registered agent cannot be found?

When the registered agent cannot be found at the registered office address of record or when a foreign entity files Articles to Withdraw its Certificate of Authority to transact business in this state, the Secretary of State becomes the statutory substitute agent for service of process.

3. What are the circumstances when the Secretary of State is appointed as service of process agent?

  1. When any business entity (foreign or domestic) required to maintain a registered office and registered agent under NCGS 55C-30 fails to: appoint or maintain such registered office and/or agent name; when the Secretary of State revokes a certificate of authority or a statement of foreign registration of a foreign entity authorized to transact business (NCGS 55D-33);
  2. When a foreign limited partnership transacting business in this State without registration, with respect to causes of action arising out of the transaction of business in this State (NCGS 59-907(f));
  3. When a domestic or foreign person knowingly engages in business activities regulated under Article 16A of Chapter 53 (The Money Transmitters Act) with respect to causes of action that may arise under such Article (NCGS 53-208.29);
  4. When an unauthorized, foreign or alien insurance company enters into a contract of insurance as an insurer or transacts business in the State as set forth in NCGS 58-28-10 for any action or proceeding against it arising out of a violation of NCGS 58-28-5;
  5. When the surviving or new association or corporation created under NCGS 54-164 is an association or corporation of any state other than North Carolina and if after the merger or consolidation, it transacts no business within this state (NCGS 54-164(c)); or
  6. When a nonresident individual becomes a beneficial owner of more than 20% of the voting shares of a corporation or makes a control share acquisition, the business entity shall be deemed to have appointed the Secretary of State as its agent upon whom may be served any lawful process, authorized by Chapter 75E with the same effect as though served upon the individual personally (NCGS 75E-8).

4. Does the Service of Process Agent have other duties?

The Service of Process Agent files Home Warranty Bonds and receives corporate Bankruptcy Notices and Motions delivered on behalf of business entities to the Secretary of State’s Office.

5. What is the process to effect service on the Secretary of State?

  1. Submit a cover letter detailing the service desired,
  2. Document the results of any previous attempt to effect service,
  3. Provide a point of contact to receive correspondence and notice of service from the Department,
  4. Enclose two copies of the document to be served per entity, and
  5. Provide the fee made payable to the NC Secretary of State.

6. What is the fee for service?

The fee for the use of the Service of Process Agent of the NC Department ofo the Secretary of State is $10.00 each time process is served. (each entity to be served). G.S. 55-1-22(b)

7. How and where can the documents be submitted to the NC Secretary of State’s Office?

Service of Process on the Secretary of State can be made by certified mail or by priority overnight delivery service at the Post Office Box or street address listed below.

Please Note: Office personnel may not provide legal advice or counsel to the public.

For more information please contact the Service of Process Agent at:

Mailing for Certified or USPS Express

Service of Process Agent
NC Secretary of State
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622

Street Address for Overnight Carrier

Service of Process Agent
NC Secretary of State
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903

Telephone: 919-807-2201
Fax: (919) 807-2215
E-mail: sop@sosnc.com