As part of the US system of due process, parties involved in legal proceedings must be properly notified. This is done by delivering notice to an impartial third party, known as a process agent.
A freight broker, motor carrier or shipping company needs to appoint a person or company that can accept service of process in every state where they haul cargo. These are referred to as a process agent, and they are an important part of a trucking business’ compliance program. They handle all of the legal paperwork matters for a company, including lawsuits. Alternatively, companies can select what’s called a blanket process agent company to serve them in all 50 states for one fee.
Understanding Process Agents: What They Are and Why You Might Need One
Additionally, many shipping businesses sign agreements governed by laws of foreign countries. In these instances, they often have to negotiate a “choice of law” clause in the contract. Jurisdictions like New York, London and Hong Kong are popular choices because of their established commercial laws. The clause specifies that any disputes will be determined under the laws of the jurisdiction selected.
When selecting a process agent, it is critical to look for one who operates legitimate commercial offices. They should have extended hours of operations and proven infrastructure to ensure that they can respond quickly to inquiries, no matter when they come in. This is a crucial aspect because it reduces the risk of an improperly handled or missed legal proceeding, which can have a massive impact on a company’s bottom line.