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Service of Process

  • The Division of Corporations accepts Substituted Service of Process under Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes.
  • We will notify the plaintiff’s attorney of any accepted service, including the time and date of acceptance. However, we do not serve the designated individual.
  • The notice includes:
    • Two acceptance letters.
    • The original “filed” stamped summons.
    • A copy of the complaint.
  • The plaintiff’s attorney is responsible for notifying the defendant of an accepted Substitute Service of Process.
  • Search our records by name to find the name and address of an entity’s registered agent.

Filing Requirements

  • The original and a copy of the court-issued summons, which must include:
    • The original signature of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and the Seal.
    • The name of the defendant, in care of the Secretary of State.
      Example:
      John Doe
      c/o Secretary of State
      P.O. Box 6327
      Tallahassee, FL 32314
  • Two copies of the complaint.
  • A cover letter indicating the specific section of Chapter 48, F.S., (e.g., 48.161, 48.181) that authorizes the Division of Corporations to accept the service.
  • If the plaintiff is an active business entity on our records, include a copy of the returned service or an affidavit from the process server as proof of attempted service.

Payment Options

  • $8.75 per defendant, non-refundable.
  • Make checks or money orders payable to the Department of State.
  • Payment must be in U.S. currency from a U.S. bank.

Additional Instructions

  • Direct Service of Process naming the Secretary of State as a Defendant to: The Secretary of State, R.A. Gray Building, Tallahassee, Florida  32301.
  • Direct Service of Process naming the State of Florida as a Defendant to: The Florida Attorney General’s office or call 850.414.3626 for additional information.
  • Direct Service of Process naming an insurance COMPANY (not an insurance AGENCY) as a Defendant to: The Chief Financial Officer at the State of Florida, or call 850.413.4200 for additional information.

Questions?

  • Call 850.245.6953 for specific questions about filing substitute service. 
  • Direct all other inquiries to the attorney(s) involved. 
  • The Division of Corporations does not provide information pertaining to the summons or complaint.