I understand from Wikipedia that many states in the US require that companies have a designated agent in each jurisdiction where they do business to accept service.
It seems that at least in some states, such as New York, the secretary of state is required to be the agent on which process is served.
(a) The secretary of state shall be the agent of every domestic limited liability company that has filed with the department of state articles of organization making such designation and every foreign limited liability company upon which process may be served pursuant to this chapter. (b) No domestic or foreign limited liability company may be formed or authorized to do business in this state under this chapter unless its articles of organization or application for authority designates the secretary of state as such agent.
What I haven't been able to figure out is what this accomplishes, assuming the LLC itself is in New York - why can't I accept service at my business address, or my lawyer's address, etc?
I find the situation rather confusing in light of the fact that in New York, personal service is required for some family law issues.