55D-33. Service on entities.

(a) Service of process, notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served on an entity may be served on the registered agent required by G.S. 55D-30.

(b) When an entity required to maintain a registered office and registered agent under G.S. 55D-30 fails to appoint or maintain a registered agent in this State, or when its registered agent cannot with due diligence be found at the registered office, or when the Secretary of State revokes a certificate of authority or a statement of foreign registration of a foreign entity authorized to transact business or conduct affairs in this State, the Secretary of State becomes an agent of the entity upon whom any such process, notice or demand may be served. Service on the Secretary of State of any such process, notice or demand is made by delivering to and leaving with the Secretary of State or any clerk authorized by the Secretary of State to accept service of process, duplicate copies of the process, notice or demand and the applicable fee. In the event any such process, notice or demand is served on the Secretary of State in the manner provided by this subsection, the Secretary of State shall immediately mail one of the copies thereof, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the entity at its principal office or, if there is no mailing address for the principal office on file, to the entity at its registered office. Service on an entity under this subsection is effective for all purposes from and after the date of the service on the Secretary of State.

(c) The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all processes, notices and demands served upon the Secretary of State under this section and shall record therein the date of service and the Secretary of State's action with reference thereto.

(d) Nothing in this section affects the right to serve any process, notice or demand required or permitted by law to be served upon an entity in any other manner now or hereafter permitted by law. (1937, c. 133, ss. 1-3; G.S., s. 55-39; 1955, c. 1371, s. 1; 1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1219, s. 33; 1989, c. 265, s. 1; 2000-140, s. 43; 2001-358, ss. 44, 45; 2001-387, ss. 173, 175(a); 2001-413, s. 6.)