How to serve an Arizona business entity when the statutory agent cannot be found

When serving legal process on a business entity in Arizona you typically need to have the Statutory Agent served.  The Statutory Agent can be located by searching the business records at the Arizona Corporation Commission's (ACC) website. Frequently there are times when the Statutory Agent cannot be located because they have moved, went out of business, the Statutory Agent resigned, or something else.  If you have a lawsuit against a business and cannot find the person designated for service what are you to do?  Don't give up, we can help!

If you find yourself in this situation, please give us a call.  Arizona has rules in place where you are able to serve the business through the Arizona Corporation Commission if you follow certain protocols.   This is allowed on a case-by-case basis and is not automatically approved by the ACC.  To properly effectuate service through the ACC, you typically must first hire a process server to attempt service on the Statutory Agent, and they will need to provide you with a special Affidavit of Attempts documenting their attempts, dates, and times they tried to serve the Statutory Agent and why service could not be effectuated.  If you hire us for process service we will provide you with the correct documentation to provide to the ACC.  

These instructions below are copied verbatim from the ACC's website and they provide a general guideline to follow:

"To serve a corporation or limited liability company through the Arizona Corporation Commission ("A.C.C."), you must deliver to the Corporations Division Records Section, by mail or in person (MOD account holders may fax), the following:

2 copies of the document or documents being served;An Affidavit or Declaration of Attempted Service from a registered process server; and
A check for $25.00.

The Records Section is located at 1300 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ, 85007.

Service upon an entity through the A.C.C. is not automatic.  The circumstances under which the A.C.C. may accept service on behalf of an entity are mandated by statute.  Each instance of attempted service on an entity is examined on a case-by-case basis by our staff to determine if it is appropriate for the A.C.C. to accept service for that entity.  Process servers should be familiar with our Notice to Process Servers that sets out requirements for the affidavit of attempted service.

If the service is accepted by the Records Section staff, a copy of the documents being served is mailed to the entity via regular U.S. Mail, and a Certification of Service Accepted and of Mailing is prepared by staff.  The A.C.C. Certification, along with the other copy of the documents being served, is sent for microfilming into the entity's record.  An uncertified copy of the A.C.C. Certification may be obtained by paying the regular copying charge of $.50 per page.  A certified copy of the A.C.C. Certification may be obtained by paying the charges for certified copies ($5.00 plus .50 per page)."

*disclaimer* none of the above is to be construed as legal advice, it is merely the opinion of the writer and all statements should not be relied on for legal matters.  Please consult with your attorney if you need specific legal advice.