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Ask the Expert: Why Companies Should Use a Registered Agent

An interview with Paul Matthews, director of Product Management, Representation services

Service of process is high priority and requires immediate attention. Global companies are dealing with piles of legal documents in all the jurisdictions where they do business. CSC sat down with our director of Product Management, Representation services, Paul Matthews, to give insight into why companies should consider using a commercial registered agent to manage their service of process—making sure it runs smoothly in the background.

In your opinion, why should a company consider using registered agent (RA) and service of process (SOP) services from CSC?

Before a business can open its doors, most jurisdictions require a registered agent be identified and listed in public records to serve as the company’s primary point of contact for receiving legal documents, also known as SOP.

This agent has two primary responsibilities: (1) be available during normal business hours to receive service of process and (2) receive notices of critical compliance notifications from local, state, and federal agencies on behalf of the organization.

Companies need someone with the expertise to handle things in a predictable, organized, and consistent way. The use of a commercial agent ensures that any legal document sent to the business is received and routed to the correct member(s) of an organization for a prompt response—most legal documents are time sensitive. If an organization operates across multiple jurisdictions, a trusted partner that can help navigate and manage the obligations that come along with doing business in multiple states is essential.

Can you identify any unique pressures on organizations with respect to their SOP management?

Service of process, by its nature, is time sensitive. Companies have a vested interest in maximizing the amount of time they have to respond to inbound legal matters. More specifically, the pressure to respond is most acute in the banking sector. Banks are seeing an increase in legal orders requiring them to supply information related to an account holder and, most importantly, freeze the funds in those accounts. Not acting expeditiously may put a bank on the hook for funds that could have been collected when an account is cleared out or depleted between service of the legal order and the timing of the account freeze.

What are you seeing in terms of the trends or developments in the RA and SOP markets?

Enforcement activity and litigation related to data privacy and labor-related regulations are at the leading edge of why organizations are dealing with increased scrutiny and regulatory requirements both domestically and abroad. Most organizations are also facing rising costs in legal spend for both litigation and arbitration matters.

Can you elaborate on what ways RA and SOP service makes the lives of its users easier?

Successful organizations relentlessly focus on the development and delivery of their products and services. To achieve that degree of focus, a company needs to find trusted partners to manage all the peripheral tasks that can distract from an organization’s strategic mission. CSC’s value to customers centers around being able to ensure that all the different pieces of compliance infrastructure are in place and coordinated with purpose-built solutions like service of process operating efficiently in the background.

How has RA and SOP software evolved to accommodate not just large cap companies, which have been CSC’s primary demographic, but small and mid-cap companies as well?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to managing service of process. For the largest and most complex companies, service of process is a volume problem. How can they best manage, distribute, and track huge piles of documents that show up every single day? For small and mid-size organizations, the challenge of dealing with anomalous service of process that requires immediate and unique attention is often a high priority. CSC continues to build our solutions around the discrete sets of challenges that companies of each size need to solve for.

What sets CSC apart as an RA and SOP provider?

Our service and operations teams are the foundation on which we have built our success. CSC excels at combining world-class service with the tools and resources our customers need to meet their business objectives. While many competitors feel comfortable outsourcing varying degrees of customer work, CSC insists on only using the team of experts we’ve cultivated. Coupling our teams with our purpose-built technology allows CSC to offer an unparalleled registered agent service that can be trusted to manage service of process and compliance obligations for many of the largest companies in the world.

How do you think emerging technologies factor into the RA and SOP service offerings that CSC provides?

Like most organizations, CSC sees the emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT as equal parts compelling, exciting, and terrifying. AI and machine learning represent an enormous opportunity to automate and streamline existing processes or to launch a world of new capabilities. That opportunity to quickly synthesize data and elicit meaningful insights or to generate new data requires proper controls and guardrails—just as all technology does. CSC hopes to combine the knowledge and experience of our best-in-class team of experts with the speed of technology. When those two ingredients are combined, the result must be one that we can stand behind.

What’s next on the horizon for RA and SOP at CSC?

From a technology standpoint, CSC will continue to focus on both the customer experience and the internal tools we use to intake, catalog, and deliver service of process and compliance correspondence to our customers. This year, 2023, we launch an updated SOP platform and a new customer interface for the delivery and storage of compliance-related mail. And behind the scenes, we continue to upgrade and refine the tools our operations teams use with the inclusion of AI-aided automation.