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What Is a Processing Agent?

A processing agent (also known as a resident or statutory agent in the US) is a representative that an entity, such as a trucking company or freight broker, designates to receive service of process and lawsuits. These agents are typically located in each state the carrier travels or does business in, and act as a conduit between the legal systems and the entity itself. This enables the courts to serve actions directly on the entity rather than trying to track down its residence or locate it in another jurisdiction.

The Essential Guide to Process Agents: What Every UK Business Needs to Know

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that any transport business that has a designated number from the FMCSA (such as a broker, freight forwarder, or motor carrier) must select an agent for service of process. In addition, the agency requires that these businesses have a process agent in each state in which they are authorized to operate and in every state traversed during transportation operations. This can be logistically impossible for transportation companies to accomplish on their own, especially since many are for-hire carriers that travel across the country or the world.

That’s where a professional process agent comes in. These agents are able to offer blanket process agent services that provide an office in every state, so that transportation companies don’t have to spend time searching for individual process agents. These agents can also offer additional services for specific financing transactions, helping to save time and money and instill confidence that there won’t be any missed or mishandled legal proceedings resulting in costly default judgments.