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Starting a notary business

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july1962
Posts: 8
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(@july1962)
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Joined: 10 years ago

Hmmm...that's not what I've been reading about LLC's. You're trying to make it sound like I want the LLC to be the notary and that's not the case. If it were, anyone who participated in an LLC couldn't actually be what the LLC represents. If I started an LLC as Hollywood agent, the LLC wouldn't be the agent, I would. But if the LLC were sued because of something I did (an LLC can't actually do anything on it's own!), my personal assets would be protected.

Google it. I'm seeing quite a lot of notaries with LLC's.

@Geber wrote:

"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.

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july1962
Posts: 8
Topic starter
(@july1962)
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Joined: 10 years ago

Thaks for the input jmalone. I live in the Los Angeles area where real estate sales aren't as bad as the rest of the country. The teacher that taught the Notary class is also a loan signer and says she does quite well....she lives in Riverside county. Coming into the field now, I don't know what the numbers were before, so I'll have nothing to compare it to, like you would as an experienced notary. If the jobs are low, there's nowhere to go but up from there!

The teacher also said that a lot of other notaries will try and talk us out of becoming notaries because they don't want new people coming in and taking jobs away from them...which makes sense. But I've also heard that the number of notaries are dropping due to the strict fines we are held to now by the SOS.

@jmalone wrote:

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.

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jmalone
Posts: 104
(@jmalone)
Estimable Member
Joined: 11 years ago

july1962.........I wouldn't try to discourage anyone from becoming a Notary Loan Signer or a Notary. Just stating reality. I'm in Northern California.

When I first started, I heard a lot of discouraging words as I tried to find my way in this business. I have no problem with competition, I just needed to prove my worth to the hiring companies. You can have a million or 100 in this business and some are going to have what it takes and others are not.

I wish you much success! Sounds like Joan Bergstrom taught you. 😀

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LindaHFL
Posts: 83
(@lindahfl)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago

It isn't that we're trying to discourage you from trying - I have no reason to as I'm in Florida and you would not be my competition...it's a case of making sure you have your eyes wide open to the facts before you decide this is the business for you. Of course your instructor is going to tell you that - they have a product to sell - lessons!!

It take time - lots of time and marketing to establish yourself. It also takes money - you need to have the proper equipment to be able to do loan signings. Do you have ANY experience in real estate or loan work? If not you have a lot to learn and you are going to have to invest in some really good training to get you ready for it. You also need to know your notary laws COLD - there is no wiggle room on that.

You need to spend money to make money, and you'll do that in the equipment you MUST have and the advertising/marketing you'll have to do. And even then, the reality is it will probably take you a year or two to establish yourself as a good, profitable business. That's the reality that we want you to see. If you need income immediately, you'd probably be better off getting yourself a 9-5 job to help you financially and to help you get back in the swing of things and set your business up at night and on weekends (that's sort of what I'm doing now after having a hiatus in my signing business since last August - I took a 9-5 to pay the bills as loan signings dropped off to nothing for me and, funny thing, I needed to eat!!...:) )

We not trying to be negative Nellies here - but that's reality, flat and simple. It's going to take time and money for you to get yourself going...study study study....market market market...

Good Luck.

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july1962
Posts: 8
Topic starter
(@july1962)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago

Maybe so, but I'm not the only person as a newbie who will come here and read these boards. There might be other newbies in your very own communities who will read what you're saying. I didn't mean to imply you were saying it only to me.

My instructor had NO reason to tell me that, they sold me ONE lesson. It's not a series of ongoing classes, it's one 6-hour class and then you take the test. While she talked about loan signing, she didn't even mention if she teaches a class in that. I hope she does, because I liked her.

I didn't really come here asking advice on how to become a loan signer, I only asked if people had an opinion on sole proprietorship OR LLC's. It appears so far that no one here really knows about LLC's. As I said, google showed me LOTS of notaries that ARE LLC's and I just was wondering if that is a better way to go. I know it costs more money, that's not the issue. I just don't want someone to sue me and be able to take my house away.

@LindaH/FL wrote:

It isn't that we're trying to discourage you from trying - I have no reason to as I'm in Florida and you would not be my competition...it's a case of making sure you have your eyes wide open to the facts before you decide this is the business for you. Of course your instructor is going to tell you that - they have a product to sell - lessons!!

It take time - lots of time and marketing to establish yourself. It also takes money - you need to have the proper equipment to be able to do loan signings. Do you have ANY experience in real estate or loan work? If not you have a lot to learn and you are going to have to invest in some really good training to get you ready for it. You also need to know your notary laws COLD - there is no wiggle room on that.

You need to spend money to make money, and you'll do that in the equipment you MUST have and the advertising/marketing you'll have to do. And even then, the reality is it will probably take you a year or two to establish yourself as a good, profitable business. That's the reality that we want you to see. If you need income immediately, you'd probably be better off getting yourself a 9-5 job to help you financially and to help you get back in the swing of things and set your business up at night and on weekends (that's sort of what I'm doing now after having a hiatus in my signing business since last August - I took a 9-5 to pay the bills as loan signings dropped off to nothing for me and, funny thing, I needed to eat!!...:) )

We not trying to be negative Nellies here - but that's reality, flat and simple. It's going to take time and money for you to get yourself going...study study study....market market market...

Good Luck.

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