What You Need to Know About Serving a Business
Did you know that serving papers to a business is much different than serving an individual? In fact, there are very strict rules about serving businesses that must be followed. How a business needs to be served and who should be served depends on the type and size of the business.
Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships
Sole proprietorships, partnerships, or individuals operating as freelancers are going to be responsible for accepting and taking action on legal papers. In these situations, you can serve the business at their place of residence or their place of business. Especially with the pandemic, people are often working from home and may not even have a physical location at the present.
LLCs and S Corporations
LLCs and S Corporations are often owned by a single individual. These small businesses could also technically be sole proprietorships or partnerships, but they are organized similar to a corporation. Because they are a corporation, you may not be able to have them served at their place of residence unless they do not have a physical business location.
Large corporations that operate in more states than just Florida or who have a corporate office in another state should have a registered agent who is allowed to accept legal papers on behalf of the company at their Florida location. That registered agent must be served at the place of business during normal business hours. If there is not a registered agent, the papers must be served to the highest ranking professional at the business location.
The biggest problem with serving a business right now is the fact that many physical locations have been closed or are only partially staffed. That means that the registered agent or officer who is supposed to accept legal papers may not be available at the business office. Some judges are allowing registered agents to be served at home, but this requires permission from the courts.