TITLE 7
Corporations, Associations, and Partnerships

CHAPTER 7-1.2
Rhode Island Business Corporation Act

PART 7-1.2-1401
Foreign Corporations

SECTION 7-1.2-1410


§ 7-1.2-1410 Service of process on foreign corporation.

(a) The registered agent appointed by a foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state is an agent of the corporation upon whom any process, notice, or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon the corporation may be served.

(b) Whenever a foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state fails to appoint or maintain a registered agent in this state, or whenever any registered agent cannot with reasonable diligence be found at the registered office, or whenever the certificate of authority of a foreign corporation is suspended or revoked, the secretary of state is an agent of the corporation upon whom any process, notice, or demand may be served. Service on the secretary of state of any process, notice, or demand must be made by delivering to and leaving with him or her, or with any clerk having charge of the corporation department of his or her office, duplicate copies of the process, notice, or demand. In the event any process, notice, or demand is served on the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall immediately forward one of the copies by registered mail, addressed to the corporation at its principal office if known to him or her, in the state or country under the laws of which it is incorporated. Any service had in this manner on the secretary of state is returnable in not less than thirty (30) days.

(c) Every foreign corporation as a condition precedent to carrying on business in this state must, and by so carrying on business in this state does, consent that any process, including the process of garnishment, may be served upon the secretary of state in the manner provided by this section, except that notice of the service must be given by the plaintiff or his or her attorney in the manner as the court in which the action is commenced or pending orders as affording the corporation reasonable opportunity to defend the action or to learn of the garnishment. Notwithstanding the preceding requirements, however, once service has been made on the secretary of state as provided, the court has the authority in the event of failure to comply with the requirement of notice to the foreign corporation to order notice that is sufficient to apprise it of the pendency of the action against it, and additionally, may extend the time for answering by the foreign corporation.

(d) The secretary of state shall keep a record of all processes, notices, and demands served upon him or her under this section, and record in the record the time of the service and his or her action on it.

(e) Nothing contained in these provisions limits or affects the right to serve any process, notice, or demand, required or permitted by law to be served upon a corporation in any manner now or subsequently permitted by law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 216, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 274, § 2; P.L. 2005, ch. 120, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 130, § 1.)