(a) A corporation’s registered agent is the corporation’s agent for service of process, notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served on the corporation.

Terms Used In West Virginia Code 31D-5-504

  • Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • delivery: means any method of delivery used in conventional commercial practice, including, but not limited to, delivery by hand, mail, commercial delivery and electronic transmission. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Employee: includes an officer and may include a director: Provided, That the director has accepted duties that make him or her also an employee. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Individual: includes , but is not limited to, the estate of an incompetent or deceased individual. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Person: includes , but is not limited to, an individual and an entity. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Principal office: means the office so designated in the return required pursuant to section three, article twelve-c, chapter eleven of this code where the principal executive offices of a domestic or foreign corporation are located. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Registered agent: means the agent identified by the corporation pursuant to section five hundred one, article five of this chapter. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Secretary: means the corporate officer to whom the board of directors has delegated responsibility under subsection (c), section eight hundred forty, article eight of this chapter for custody of the minutes of the meetings of the board of directors and the meetings of the shareholders and for authenticating records of the corporation. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150
  • Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
  • state: when applied to a part of the United States and not restricted by the context, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories, and the words "United States" also include the said district and territories. See West Virginia Code 2-2-10
  • United States: includes , but is not limited to, districts, authorities, bureaus, commissions, departments and any other agency of the United States. See West Virginia Code 31D-1-150

(b) If a corporation has no registered agent, or the agent cannot with reasonable diligence be served, the corporation may be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the secretary of the corporation at its principal office. Service is perfected under this subsection at the earliest of:

(1) The date the corporation receives the mail;

(2) The date shown on the return receipt, if signed on behalf of the corporation; or

(3) Five days after its deposit in the United States mail, as evidenced by the postmark, if mailed postpaid and correctly addressed.

(c) In addition to the methods of service on a corporation provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Secretary of State is hereby constituted the attorney-in-fact for and on behalf of each corporation created pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The Secretary of State has the authority to accept service of notice and process on behalf of each corporation and is an agent of the corporation upon whom service of notice and process may be made in this state for and upon each corporation. No act of a corporation appointing the Secretary of State as attorney-in-fact is necessary. Service of any process, notice or demand on the Secretary of State may be made by delivering to and leaving with the Secretary of State the original process, notice or demand and two copies of the process, notice or demand for each defendant, along with the fee required by section two, article one, chapter fifty-nine of this code: Provided, That with regard to a class action suit in which all defendants are to be served with the same process, notice or demand, service may be made by filing with the Secretary of State the original process, notice or demand and one copy for each named defendant. Immediately after being served with or accepting any process or notice, the Secretary of State shall: (1) File in his or her office a copy of the process or notice, endorsed as of the time of service or acceptance; (2) transmit one copy of the process or notice by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, by a means which may include electronic issuance and acceptance of electronic return receipts, to: (A) The corporation’s registered agent; or (B) if there is no registered agent, to the individual whose name and address was last given to the Secretary of State’s office as the person to whom notice and process are to be sent and if no person has been named, to the principal office of the corporation as that address was last given to the Secretary of State’s office. If no address is available on record with the Secretary of State, then to the address provided on the original process, notice or demand, if available; and (3) transmit the original process, notice or demand to the clerk’s office of the court from which the process, notice or demand was issued. Service or acceptance of process or notice is sufficient if return receipt is signed by an agent or employee of the corporation, or the registered or certified mail sent by the Secretary of State is refused by the addressee and the registered or certified mail is returned to the Secretary of State, or to his or her office, showing the stamp of the United States Postal Service that delivery has been refused, and the return receipt or registered or certified mail is received by the Secretary of State by a means which may include electronic issuance and acceptance of electronic return receipts. After receiving verification from the United States Postal Service that acceptance of process, notice or demand has been signed, the Secretary of State shall notify the clerk’s office of the court from which the process, notice or demand was issued by a means which may include electronic notification. If the process, notice or demand was refused or undeliverable by the United States Postal Service the Secretary of State shall create a preservation duplicate from which a reproduction of the stored record may be retrieved which truly and accurately depicts the image of the original record. The Secretary of State may destroy or otherwise dispose of the original returned or undeliverable mail. Written notice of the action by the Secretary of State must then be provided by certified mail, return receipt requested, facsimile, or by electronic mail, to the clerk’s office of the court from which the process, notice or demand was issued. No process or notice may be served on the Secretary of State or accepted by him or her less than ten days before the return day of the process or notice. The court may order continuances as may be reasonable to afford each defendant opportunity to defend the action or proceedings.

(d) This section does not prescribe the only means, or necessarily the required means, of serving a corporation.