Q: If suing a LLC business, and the principal address and mailing address are different, which address should be served?
The business I am suing is an LLC and is also franchised. This will be a small claims case in the state of Florida. For the business I am suing, there is a principal address listed, a mailing address listed and also a registered agent name and address listed. Which of these addresses should receive the summons to be served?
A: Physical address. Tell your process server all 3 addresses. Their job is to get it served.
Florida Statutes 48.062, Service on a limited liability company. states:
(1) Process against a limited liability company, domestic or foreign, may be served on the registered agent designated by the limited liability company under chapter 605. A person attempting to serve process pursuant to this subsection may serve the process on any employee of the registered agent during the first attempt at service even if the registered agent is a natural person and is temporarily absent from his or her office.
(2) If service cannot be made on a registered agent of the limited liability company because of failure to comply with chapter 605 or because the limited liability company does not have a registered agent, or if its registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be served, process against the limited liability company, domestic or foreign, may be served:
(a) On a member of a member-managed limited liability company;
(b) On a manager of a manager-managed limited liability company; or
(c) If a member or manager is not available during regular business hours to accept service on behalf of the limited liability company, he, she, or it may designate an employee of the limited liability company to accept such service. After one attempt to serve a member, manager, or designated employee has been made, process may be served on the person in charge of the limited liability company during regular business hours.
(3) If, after reasonable diligence, service of process cannot be completed under subsection (1) or subsection (2), service of process may be effected by service upon the Secretary of State as agent of the limited liability company as provided for in s. 48.181.
(4) If the address for the registered agent, member, or manager is a residence, a private mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite, service on the domestic or foreign limited liability company may be made by serving the registered agent, member, or manager in accordance with s. 48.031.
(5) This section does not apply to service of process on insurance companies.
History.—s. 3, ch. 2013-180; s. 13, ch. 2015-148; s. 5, ch. 2019-67.
So service is not dependent on the address, but service on the registered agent, employee, agent or member or manager under the statute above. If that cannot be accomplished the statute provides for service through the Secretary of State.
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