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The Florida Statutes

The 2022 Florida Statutes

Title VI
CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 48
PROCESS AND SERVICE OF PROCESS
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 48.081
148.081 Service on corporation.
(1) Process against any private corporation, domestic or foreign, may be served:
(a) On the president or vice president, or other head of the corporation;
(b) In the absence of any person described in paragraph (a), on the cashier, treasurer, secretary, or general manager;
(c) In the absence of any person described in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), on any director; or
(d) In the absence of any person described in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c), on any officer or business agent residing in the state.
(2) If a foreign corporation has none of the foregoing officers or agents in this state, service may be made on any agent transacting business for it in this state.
(3)(a) As an alternative to all of the foregoing, process may be served on the agent designated by the corporation under s. 48.091. However, if service cannot be made on a registered agent because of failure to comply with s. 48.091, service of process shall be permitted on any employee at the corporation’s principal place of business or on any employee of the registered agent. A person attempting to serve process pursuant to this paragraph may serve the process on any employee of the registered agent during the first attempt at service even if the registered agent is temporarily absent from his or her office.
(b) If the address for the registered agent, officer, director, or principal place of business is a residence, a private mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite, service on the corporation may be made by serving the registered agent, officer, or director in accordance with s. 48.031.
(4) This section does not apply to service of process on insurance companies.
(5) When a corporation engages in substantial and not isolated activities within this state, or has a business office within the state and is actually engaged in the transaction of business therefrom, service upon any officer or business agent while on corporate business within this state may personally be made, pursuant to this section, and it is not necessary in such case that the action, suit, or proceeding against the corporation shall have arisen out of any transaction or operation connected with or incidental to the business being transacted within the state.
History.s. 8, Nov. 21, 1829; s. 2, Feb. 11, 1834; s. 1, ch. 3590, 1885; RS 1019; GS 1406; s. 1, ch. 6908, 1915; s. 1, ch. 7752, 1918; RGS 2604; CGL 4251; s. 1, ch. 57-97; ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 59-46; s. 4, ch. 67-254; s. 1, ch. 67-399; s. 6, ch. 79-396; s. 7, ch. 83-216; s. 1, ch. 84-2; s. 2, ch. 2004-273; s. 3, ch. 2011-159; s. 3, ch. 2014-207; s. 3, ch. 2016-207; s. 5, ch. 2022-190.
1Note.Section 5, ch. 2022-190, amended s. 48.081, effective January 2, 2023, to read:

48.081 Service on a domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation.

(1) As used in this section, the term “registered foreign corporation” means a foreign corporation that has an active certificate of authority to transact business in this state pursuant to a record filed with the Department of State.

(2) A domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation may be served with process required or authorized by law by service on its registered agent designated by the corporation under chapter 607 or chapter 617, as applicable.

(3) If service cannot be made on a registered agent of the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation because the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation ceases to have a registered agent, or if the registered agent of the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation cannot otherwise be served after one good faith attempt because of a failure to comply with this chapter, chapter 607, or chapter 617, as applicable, the process may be served on either of the following:

(a) The chair of the board of directors, the president, any vice president, the secretary, or the treasurer of the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation.

(b) Any person listed publicly by the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation on its latest annual report, as most recently amended.

(4) If, after due diligence, the process cannot be completed under subsection (2) and if either:

(a) The only person listed publicly by the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation on its latest annual report, as most recently amended, is also the registered agent on whom service was attempted under subsection (2); or

(b) After due diligence, service was attempted on at least one person listed publicly by the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation on its latest annual report, as most recently amended, and cannot be completed on such person under subsection (3),

the process may be served as provided in s. 48.161 on the Secretary of State as an agent of the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation or by order of the court under s. 48.102.

(5) If the address for the registered agent or any person listed publicly by the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation on its latest annual report, as most recently amended, is a residence, a private mailbox, a virtual office, or an executive office or mini suite, service on the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation may be made by serving any of the following:

(a) The registered agent of the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation, in accordance with s. 48.031.

(b) Any person listed publicly by the domestic corporation or registered foreign corporation on its latest annual report, as most recently amended, in accordance with s. 48.031.

(c) Any person serving in one of the positions specified in paragraph (3)(a), in accordance with s. 48.031.

(6) A foreign corporation engaging in business in this state which is not registered is considered, for purposes of service of process, a nonresident engaging in business in this state and may be served pursuant to s. 48.181 or by order of the court under s. 48.102.

(7) This section does not apply to service of process on insurance companies.

Note.Former s. 47.17.