Starting a notary business
I've been caring fulltime for my disabled sister for the last 9 years and she passed away last month. It's daunting to think of starting over in the job world at age 50! I got to thinking about becoming a notary, and in fact took a class and the test last week. I'm just waiting on my test score.
I have been doing some research into starting my own mobile business (I want to take the loan signing class as well). Can anyone recommend whether it's better to start a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Are there any "notary" websites that are helpful for actually starting the business side of it?
You do not mention your state. Check your state regulations to see whether notarizations of loans and real estate documents is allowed. That seems the bulk of the business; if you can't do that, you probably can't make a living as a notary.
A corporation cannot be a notary, only an individual can. Thus incorporating will not shield your assets from any mistake you make while acting as a notary.
Sorry, I'm in California. The reason I ask is that in searching for information, I'm coming across other CA notaries online, some of which list themselves as an LLC. The teacher of my class last week said she was an LLC. I'd have asked her about it, but we were instructed to keep all our questions relavent to things that are on the Notary test.
As for your last statement, that's not the information I'm reading. The whole point of an LLC is to shield your assets.
"The whole point of an LLC is to shield your assets." An LLC is a corporation, and a corporation is a legal person. If you formed an LLC, and, acting as an LLC, you printed an electronic document and accidentally dropped some critical pages in the wastebasket, you could try to argue that it was the LLC that lost the pages, not the natural person july1962, so only the LLC ought to get sued. I'm not an attorney, so I don't know how well that would work. But an LLC can't be a notary, so if you forgot to ask for ID, and it turned out to be an imposter, they'll be coming after july1962 first, and maybe the LLC as an employer that is also liable.
I'm also a member of a ham radio club. It isn't incorporated now, but we're thinking about it. Say we asked one of the members to go to Radio Shack and buy a spool of wire for a club function. On the way he runs a stop sign and a school bus runs off the road, killing 10 kids and paralyzing 3. So the member's auto insurance will be used up, the club's $1,000,000 insurance will be used up, and then they'll come after all the members. That's where a corporation is really good; the liability is limited to the individual who was negligent and the LLC, but not natural persons who were not negligent. So if you are going to be in business with friends or family, and you want to make sure it isn't deemed to be partnership, a corporation might be a good move.
july1962. Most of us who do loan signings are independent contractors and run our businesses as Sole Proprietorship. I carry $100K in E&O insurance, along with my bond. LLC, S corp or C corp can be expensive. We already have large expenses with just getting our commissions and advertising on the various websites out there.
Business in loan signings has decreased dramatically and it's a real fight to stay in this business. I've been doing loan signings for over 8 years now and have seen signing fees drop drastically. Unless you have an in with some Title companies, it's hard to break into this business. It takes a couple years to build the business, with constant marketing. You can lose a good client at any time, due to decrease in their business or they will cut your fee, where you can't make a profit.
You need to study all the top notary boards out there and get a feel for what's going on. Have a solid business plan, before you venture into the signing world. If you want to do general notarizations as a mobile notary, you need to begin by dropping off business cards with banks, attorney's, businesses, etc.
Do not attempt loan signings with no experience. And, do not take low ball fees. Signing companies love to prey on Newbies and get them to do signings for $50 or less. You need to know all of your expenses to make a profit.