International Shoe Company v. Washington

International Shoe Company v. Washington by Harlan F. Stone

International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945), was a landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in which the Court established important rules impacting a number of areas of the law including the participation of corporations involved in interstate commerce in state unemployment compensation funds, the confines imposed upon the power of the States by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the sufficiency of service of process, and, especially, personal jurisdiction. Excerpted from International Shoe v. Washington on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

326 U.S. 310

International Shoe Company  v.  Washington


No. 107  Argued: November 14, 1945 --- Decided: December 3, 1945

Activities within a State of salesmen in the employ of a foreign corporation, exhibiting samples of merchandise and soliciting orders from prospective buyers to be accepted or rejected by the corporation at a point outside the State, were systematic and continuous, and resulted in a large volume of interstate business. A statute of the State requires employers to pay into the state unemployment compensation fund a specified percentage of the wages paid for the services of employees within the State.


1. In view of 26 U.S.C. § 1606(a), providing that no person shall be relieved from compliance with a state law requiring payments to an unemployment fund on the ground that he is engaged in interstate commerce, the fact that the corporation is engaged in interstate commerce does not relieve it from liability for payments to the state unemployment compensation fund. P. 315.

2. The activities in behalf of the corporation render it amenable to suit in courts of the State to recover payments due to the state unemployment compensation fund. P. 320.

(a) The activities in question established between the State and the corporation sufficient contacts or ties to make it reasonable and just, and in conformity to the due process requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment, for the State to enforce against the corporation an obligation arising out of such activities. P. 320.

(b) In such a suit to recover payments due to the unemployment compensation fund, service of process upon one of the corporation's salesmen within the State, and notice sent by registered mail to the corporation at its home office, satisfies the requirements of due process. P. 320. [p311]

3. The tax imposed by the state unemployment compensation statute — construed by the state court, in its application to the corporation, as a tax on the privilege of employing salesmen within the State — does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 321.

APPEAL from a judgment upholding the constitutionality of a state unemployment compensation statute as applied to the appellant corporation.

Mr. Henry C. Lowenhaupt, of St. Louis Mo., for appellant.

Mr. George W. Wilkins, of Olympia, Wash., for appellees.

Mr. Chief Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).