How To Start A Notary BusinessAndy Johnson
5 Easy Steps To Starting A Notary Business
Are you ready to start earning real money as a notary? It is possible! Many people have found freedom in being able to work for themselves as a mobile notary public. There are certain steps you do need to take so that you will have a successful notary business.
1. Become A Notary
Each state has its own requirements to become a notary. You can select your state on this page to discover yours. However, there are several steps that remain universal:
- Receive proper training: It is so very important to educate yourself on how to execute the role of notary public properly. Training will allow you to excel in your role and establish yourself as a subject matter expert. Our training courses cover the basics and state specific requirements to ensure you are knowledgeable and prepared. They are approved by the states that require mandatory training and we guarantee you will pass your state exam, if one is required. Remember, ignorance is never an excuse for breaking the law. Knowing and understanding the law is the best way to keep yourself out of trouble.
- Submit a Notary Application with your State or County according to their requirements. This may require a state-approved notary course, notary exam, fingerprinting, etc.
- Receive your Commission from the State. Your notary commission will provide you with all of the information you need to purchase notary supplies, including your commission number (if applicable) and expiration date.
2. Purchase The Right Supplies
Having the right supplies to begin your notary business is critical. This includes stamps, journals, and/or embossers. In addition, you need to have the essentials of any small business:
- Phone: People need to be able to reach you consistently. A smart phone is an added bonus!
- Business Cards: Promote your business and allow people to easily reach you by providing business cards.
- Printer: Access to a printer in case you need to print documents is advisable. Using a laser printer for its more permanent print is pretty much a must!
- Transportation: While public transportation may be sufficient in urban areas, a reliable vehicle is necessary in rural areas and provides greater flexibility to meet your customers when they need you.
- Professional Appearance: You don’t need a 3 piece suit to be a successful notary, but a clean, professional appearance will go a long way in gaining and retaining customers.
Something you can’t buy but is equally important is a positive, can-do attitude! Remember, it costs nothing to be on time, be helpful and smile.
3. Advertise Your Notary Business
There are multiple ways to advertise your notary business and many of them are free:
- Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Classifieds: Craigslist, community publications, etc.
- Word of Mouth: The best referral is from a trusted friend
- Networking Clubs/Websites
4. Keep Proper Records
Many states have restrictions on what you can charge for notary fees. You need to know how much you can charge and whether you are allowed to include extra fees such as travel. You will want to track your charges in journal entries, an Excel spreadsheet, or accounting software such as Quickbooks. You will also need to track expenses, such as supplies, mileage, training, advertising, etc. Keep in mind there are many mobile apps to help keep track of these expenses on the go. The more accurate you are in record keeping, the easier it will be to prepare taxes for your notary business.
It may not be necessary to create a separate business entity. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney and tax professional on how best to limit your legal and financial risks.
5. Expand Your Notary Business
Once you have established yourself as a notary, you may consider expanding your business by specializing, for example, as a loan signing agent. Loan signing agents are notaries that print and deliver the unsigned loan documents to the borrower, verify borrower identity, collect signatures, make sure everything is complete, then return the documents to the lender or a title company for final processing. Since this is an expanded service you can charge above and beyond your normal notary fees. Check out our certified loan signing agent course where we teach you everything you need to know to get started.
Andy, I’m really happy to see “Receive proper training” is mentioned in Step 1. To me this is something that frequently gets overlooked especially in states that don’t make notary training mandatory.
That has been the basis of our business model since day one. It is sad to see notaries who do not value their role and, often unknowingly, break the law for the convenience of friends, relatives, neighbors and/or employers.
Thank you, Andy–it is so easy for someone to break a law without knowing when they do not invest in training!
Notary.net’s prices are so reasonable and the training is so thorough!!
Michelle – thanks for your comment on this. I didn’t see it until now and I always value your insights. I would love to see Texas require training, especially since we have RON. Thank you again for stopping by!!
Still have to take California State test but am looking at cost of equipment. Two (2) questions:
1/Guess I don’t understand why notary prints out documents.
2/Are laser printers still the go to for this work or are inkjets worth looking at?
Faye M. Linton
A notary signing agent would print out the documents, deliver them to the borrower/seller/buyer and then send them to the title company.
It MUST be a laser printer, ink-jet are not allowed.