Four key steps in end-to-end service of process (SOP) management
ComplianceApril 13, 2022

Four key steps in end-to-end service of process (SOP) management

The accurate, reliable, and timely handling of service of process is critical to reducing the business risks of default judgments and non-compliance.

In this article, we summarize the end-to-end SOP management process, breaking it down into four key steps. In these steps, we examine some of the key requirements for each of these areas to provide a flexible and streamlined SOP-management process:

  1. Intake
  2. Service of process handling and management
  3. Service of process delivery and acknowledgment
  4. Service of process cloud storage and reporting

Step 1: Service of process intake

A registered agent initially engages in managing service of process through intake. Effectively, the agent should have an in-person intake capability, which provides the following key benefits:

  • Reduces chances of accepting incorrect or misrouted processes
  • Provides for efficient and timely processing
  • Ensures traceability
  • Reduces litigation non-compliance risk

In addition to processes served on the registered agent, corporations also receive processes directly — either served at corporate headquarters or other places of business. A registered agent can consolidate the processing of corporate-served and agent-served service of process, streamlining service-of-process management.

Step 2: SOP handling and management

After intake, the registered agent handles and manages service of process, which can be surprisingly complex. This includes the following:

  • Receiving and logging service of process documents
  • Digitizing the documents for efficient and easy distribution, management, and storage
  • Summarizing key aspects of the documents for efficient handling and routing — this can save the corporation significant time and costs associated with processing received services of process
  • Support customized and complex delivery instructions for efficient and timely service of process routing
  • Task management capabilities to ensure the service of process is acted upon in a timely manner, reducing risk of litigation and non-compliance

Step 3: SOP delivery and acknowledgment of receipt

The registered agent next delivers the service of process to the corporation, and the corporation acknowledges receipt. In this step, the agent should be capable of a variety of options to meet each corporation’s needs, including the following:

  • Electronic/automated delivery directly to the corporation’s matter management, HR/payroll, or claims system
  • Upload to a web portal with notification for corporate retrieval
  • Expedited mail

A critical step to reduce the risk of a corporation missing served documents is acknowledgment. The registered agent should make acknowledgment flexible, making it as easy as possible for the corporation based on workflow and environment. Acknowledgment methods can include the following:

  • Automated acknowledgment for electronic delivery to integrated customer systems
  • Corporate acknowledgment via SOP portal
  • Acknowledgment reminders

Step 4: SOP cloud storage and reporting

The registered agent, in this final step, stores services of process, has a system of access, and has a system of reporting for served documents and processes. The agent’s key capabilities required here include the following:

  • Portal for easy access and acknowledgment of service of process documents
  • Efficient storage in the cloud for handling and managing services of process over time
  • Simple and advanced search capabilities to quickly find services of process at any time, meeting audit requirements
  • Reporting to provide insights for planning and decision making

Learn more

Learn how to determine if your registered agent has the qualities needed for your custom service of process needs. Contact a representative at 855-316-8948 (toll-free U.S.).

 

The CT Corporation staff is comprised of experts, offering global, regional, and local expertise on registered agent, incorporation, and legal entity compliance.

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