Choosing Process Agents

Process agents

Many organizations that deal with cross-border transactions may at some point need to engage a Process agent. They may know that they need one and that it is necessary to execute certain contracts, but may not be clear as to the precise services that a Process agent provides.

The role of Process agents is to act as the local representative in the jurisdiction where proceedings are underway, or for specific transaction documentation where service abroad is not feasible. They provide a vital service for a range of businesses that may not have the need to regularly deal with legal proceedings in different jurisdictions, but who require an address within the country where the dispute or proceedings are taking place, and to whom service can be delivered.

Process Agents in Shipping and Maritime Law: Ensuring Compliance Worldwide

A common misconception is that a Process agent is similar to a registered agent (or statutory agent). While a registered agent is included in the business registration documents and, as such, is publicly listed, they do not receive legal notifications. A Process agent does, however, receive such notifications and is able to forward them on to the company or individual whose name they are representing.

A Broker, freight forwarder or motor carrier will typically need to designate a Process agent in every state where they have offices or write contracts. To avoid the hassle of having to designate a Process agent in each state, they can choose to use a blanket process agent (also known as a ‘statutory agent’ or ‘resident agent’). A professional service provider that offers such a service is likely to have nationwide coverage and will be able to handle all compliance paperwork for their clients (including BOC-3 filings). Their response times should also be fast so that they can support their client’s speedy international financing deals.