Registered Agents and Service of Process FAQ

Information About Register​​ed Agents

What is a registered agent or registered office?

A registered agent is an individual or a business entity located at a physical street address in Oregon, whose sole responsibility is to accept legal documents (service of process, lawsuits, liens, subpoenas, etc.) on behalf of the business.

The registered office is the physical street address where the registered agent is located during normal business hours. The registered office address may be the same as the business' place of business. The registered office address must be a physical street address located in Oregon.

The registered office address is where the Corporation Division will mail correspondence, renewal and late notices, unless a separate mailing address for the business is provided.​

Who can be a registered agent?

​Any individual or registered business with a physical street address in Oregon can consent to serve as the registered agent. Most Oregon businesses are able to list an officer, owner or employee and the business street address for their registered agent and registered office. Frequently the business' attorney or accountant will serve as the registered agent. In addition, another business entity can serve as the registered agent, or you can contract with an agent service company to provide the registered agent service for you. The individual or business named must have consented to serve as the registered agent.​

Can a registered agent use a post office box or mail forwarding business for the registered address?

​No, the registered agent address must be a physical street address where the registered agent maintains a business office and can accept or sign for legal service on behalf of the business. Because legal process must be physically served on an actual person, a process server cannot physically serve the registered agent at a PO Box or a mail forwarding business.

Failure to maintain a proper registered agenty and registered office may prevent a company from receiving notice of pending legal action, and could result in a default judgement against the company as a result of failure to appear to defend against a claim.​

What if my business does not have an office or employees in Oregon?

​There are businesses that will agree to serve as registered agent and accept legal service for an out-of-state business. We recommend an Internet search for Oregon registered agent service companies. Your attorney or accountant may also offer this service.​

Do I have to pay a third party to be the registered agent?

​No, most Oregon businesses are able to list an officer, owner or employee, and the business street address for their registered agent and registered office address.​

How does a registered agent resign?

To resign, a registered agent must deliver to the Corporation Division a signed, written statement resigning as agent and also give notice to the business by mailing a copy of the statement to that business.

Deliver to: 

                     Secretary of State
                     Corporation Division
                     255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151
                     Salem, OR 97310-1327

The registered agent resignation date will be recorded as the date the Corporation Division receives the letter of resignation from the registered agent. By law, a registered agent must continue to be available to accept service of process for the business for 30 days after the Corporation Division is notified of the resignation.​​

What is required if the registered agent has resigned?

​The business must designate a new registered agent and provide that information to the Corporation Division. Failure to designate a new registered agent will result in administrative dissolution of the business. ​

What does "No Consenting Registered Agent on File" mean?

A registered agent must consent to serve as registered agent for the business. When individuals have been listed as the registered agent without their prior consent, they can deliver to the Corporation Division a signed written statement declaring that they are not associated with the business and never consented to serve as registered agent.

Deliver to:

Secretary of State
Corporation Division
255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151
Salem, OR 97310-1327

The business must designate a new registered agent and provide that information to the Corporation Division. Failure to designate a new registered agent will result in administrative dissolution of the business. Please use form to appoint a new registered agent.​​

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Information Ab​out Service of Pr​ocess 

How does legal service on a business entity or its registered agent work?

​The sole purpose of the registered agent is to accept legal documents (service of process, lawsuits, liens, subpoenas, etc.) on behalf of the business. Information about businesses registered in Oregon, including the registered agent and registered office is a matter of public record and is available online through business name search.

Completing service of process, notice or demand on a business or its registered agent is an important legal proceeding which can affect the outcome of a court case or dispute. Please contact your attorney or a licensed process server for more information.​​

What do I do if I'm unable to serve process on the business entity or registered agent?

​If you are unable to serve process, notice or demand on a business or its registered agent, the Secretary of State can accept service as agent for the business. After completion of initial service upon the Secretary of State, no additional documents need be served upon the Secretary of State to maintain jurisdiction in the same proceeding or to give notice of any motion or provisional process. ​

How do I serve the Secretary of State?

Submit via certified mail, registered mail or in person:

  1. A copy of the process, notice or demand, along with any papers required by law to be delivered in connection with the service, to: 
  2.         Secretary of State
            Corporation Division - Process Service
            255 Capitol Street NE, Suite 151
            Salem, OR 97310-1327
  3. A statement by the person initiating the proceedings that all other required attempts to serve the business or its registered agent have been unsuccessful.
  4. Payment of a $20.00 Process Service fee for each business or party being served. We accept checks and all major credit cards for service received through the mail. Please include cardholder name, card type, card number and expiration date, if paying with a credit card.

If you require an acknowledgement of receipt of the service of process, please include a request in your transmittal or cover letter.

After accepting service of process, the Secretary of State records the information regarding the complaint in our database. We don't​ notify the business identified in the complaint, nor do we contact its registered agent regarding the complaint.​​

  
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We Are Here to Hel​p​

Service of Process form (PDF) is available if needed. Feel free to call us with any questions regarding this procedure at 503-986-2200.​