If you’re considering whether you want to start a notary business, it’s possible you’re looking for a side hustle income or maybe you even want to grow the business to create a full-time income or more. The problem many entrepreneurs (including me) have when starting out is trying to answer these questions:
- What does the business require?
- Does the business line up with my personal goals?
- How much money can I make?
- and, What is a normal day like?
You may also be concerned about other things specific to the notary business like:
- Where do I get the “stamps” from?
- Do I have to do testing? And, if so, where?
- And, where do I find people who need documents notarized?
I know how it is to have a goal and not know the requirements, so I plan to be very comprehensive in this article, so you know how to start a notary business, and you can decide if this is a business you’ll truly be interested in. If that sounds good to you, let’s get started…To see this content in video format, check it out here:
- 1 What is a Notary Business? An Overview
- 2 Who is a Notary Business right for?
- 3 What’s a typical day in a Notary Business like?
- 4 Who is the target market for a Notary Business?
- 5 How does a Notary Business make money?
- 6 What is the growth potential in a Notary Business?
- 7 What are the skills you’ll need to make a Notary Business work?
- 8 What are the costs involved with a Notary Business?
- 9 What are the steps involved in starting a Notary Business?
- 10 Ready to Start Your Notary Business?
What is a Notary Business? An Overview
There are some situations where a signature isn’t enough to legally validate a document. Instead, at times, you may need witnesses, fingerprints, or even a notary.
A notary is a person who has received credentials and is given the authority to witness the validation of certain documents. They usually signify this authority by looking over the documents, keeping a record of those they witness, and using a stamp (or something of the like) to imprint the document notifying the receiving party that its been overseen by a notary.
In comparison to other business opportunities, starting a notary business can be seen as a low cost startup, and it can also be fairly flexible. Many people looking into something they can start with low overhead, and a flexible schedule may find this business idea to be ideal.
Who is a Notary Business right for?
The notary business is right for:
- People who don’t mind administrative work
- Those who are willing to pay attention to details
- People who will be honest and objective
- and, those who are willing to satisfy the government requirements for election
What’s a typical day in a Notary Business like?
As a notary business owner, it’s likely, you could have documents that range in terms of length, requirements, and purpose. You might be asked to witness document authorizations like mortgage applications, employment requirements, and many other types of business and legal dealings.
Aside from the work of physically witnessing document signings, I’d also recommend you split your schedule in the following four ways: acquiring the work, doing the work, managing the work, and strategizing about the work. Let me explain…
Acquiring the work: When you’re acquiring work as a notary, you might be completing applications online, responding to requests on job boards, contacting companies who usually hire notaries, submitting your information to be on vendors’ lists, responding to inquiries on your website, or posting ads to attract those who might need services.
Here’s what the search results look like when I typed in “companies hiring notaries”, so a few brief searches online can yield many more results than this ===>
You’ll have to spend enough time acquiring the work to make sure you have enough clients on a consistent basis.
Doing the work: When you’re doing the work, you have to show up for authorization appointments. You have to meet the state requirements to sustain your credentials and you have to provide customer support whether that’s sending paperwork to companies who hired you, printing documents sent to you, driving to and from locations (if you decide to be a mobile notary), and doing your own administrative work.
Managing the work: At some point, you may decide to hire. You could hire temporary employees, contractors, or employees for longer periods of time. Regardless of what your decision is regarding your manpower, you should always be prepared by creating training that introduces hired help to your way of doing things.
Strategizing about the work: In order to continue growing your notary business, you have to take time to plan. You have to think about what other opportunities you could have, what other markets you could serve, what skills you may need to improve, or what connections could be good for you and your notary business.
Who is the target market for a Notary Business?
The target market for a notary business is very broad: businesses, government, and consumers.
Some business hire notaries as employees or they require those who are employed for another reason to add notary duties into their job descriptions. For other businesses, they prefer to work with notaries as contractors, and will hire businesses like yours. Both notary jobs and notary contract work can be found on job boards ad various places online.
Most businesses need notary services at some point, but to get them, they each may take a different approach. A a result, it’s important for you to have your local citations done and complete your profile at local directories. Brightlocal can help you to see which local citations would be ideal. You can try them out for free and evaluate many of your local marketing needs.
The government is composed of thousands of agencies, and they’re a big customer of legal, medical, and financial services: three huge industries for notary businesses. As a notary business, you could respond to requests for proposal from the government to acquire notary contracts from the government.
Sometimes, it’s the consumers who initiate the transactions, and require a notary. Maybe they might be trying to:
- Get a new job
- Complete paperwork for an existing job
- Get their kids into school
- Refinance their homes
- Or, submit a legal claim somewhere
In many instances like these, they’d need to hire a notary. You can find these people by collaborating with businesses who typically refer people out to find a notary, and by being listed in the search engines and in your local directories. This will ensure that when people type “notary near me” or similar keywords, your information can populate.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to attract local business to your website online, I’d recommend the training at Wealthy Affiliate. Try them out here for free.
How does a Notary Business make money?
A notary business can make money in multiple ways. Here are four options:
Products: A notary business can get paid for products. They can sell additional copies, protective envelopes, and other office supplies that might help the customers they’ll be authorizing documents for. I recommend Deluxe for custom branded office supplies, so when you’re selling the supplies they can also dually serve as advertising for your business. You can check out Deluxe’s custom branded office supplies on their website by clicking here.
A notary could also make educational products (like online courses) as they see a need or niche that may need them.
Services: Notaries are most commonly known for their services. They witness and authorize documents. Other services you might not have thought of are:
- Teaching aspiring notaries
- Or, forms submission (when it’s not included in the price or when non-clients need forms sent off for them)
Affiliate partnerships: A little less common form of monetization for a notary business could be thru affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is alternatively called, “referral marketing”, and you basically get a commission for referring customers to a product or a service of another business.
In your case, as a notary, you could collaborate with companies like medical clinics, legal firms, or other companies you find yourself using or referring people to often, and form an affiliate partnership. This would enable you to earn a commission every time you refer a customer to their product or service.
If you’re interested in affiliate marketing, my #1 recommended training platform is Wealthy Affiliate, and you can check them out free here.
Now, there is lots of technology on the rise to make paperwork and signing easier. There’s e-signing, credentialing, and all types of other verification methods that can be done virtually. Even with that, it doesn’t seem like the notary business is slowing down very much. Many companies still want a signed and sealed copy of certain paperwork.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the notary career field is expected to grow by 2% for court reporters and by 5-8% for office and administrative support. On average, notaries are earning $49,500 as court reporters, and $32,590 in other administrative positions in job positions. As a business owner, you’d control your earnings by putting yourself in the flow of demand for notary services, so there’s lots of earning potential for you.
What are the skills you’ll need to make a Notary Business work?
To make a notary business work, you’d need skills like:
- Negotiation and sales
- Basic bookkeeping to make sure you collect payments and track your expenses
- The authentication skills you’ll learn in the training
- A keen eye for details, so you can identify errors, mistakes, or omitted information
- There aren’t any education requirements, but most requests for notaries I’ve seen ask for high school completion
- The ability to drive would probably be a major advantage
What are the costs involved with a Notary Business?
To start a notary business, the training and licensure ranges from $90-$300 depending on the state you’ll be working in. In addition to your licensure, you usually also need a bond. The bond costs average around $300, and they last the life of your license (or 4 years on average).
Aside from licensure and your bond, I’d recommend, you also have:
- Reliable transportation (especially if you’ll be offering mobile notary services) – If you don’t have transportation, this cost could range quite a bit, but I’ll shoot low and say $5000.
- A website – A website will range from $0 to $400 for one you create on your own. My #1 recommended website builder is SiteRubix. You can try the website builder to create a free WordPress website below, and if you decide you like the process of maintaining the free version, you can upgrade to your own branded domain and hosting for $359/yr.
What are the steps involved in starting a Notary Business?
I recommend you set up your Minimum Viable Business first, then once you’ve got sales and confidence you can do this, then you get into the other steps like legal and accounting later. The steps consists of:
1. Validate your Idea
When you’re starting a notary business, it’s likely, you’re a little uncertain. You can do market research to validate it’s a demand in your area for notary services, and ask trusted loved ones for their constructive advice to help boost your confidence. Once you get your licensure, your bond, set up your website, and start networking and marketing, you’ll start to get clients. These first clients will help you decide how you like the business type and whether it’s something you can stick to.
2. Prioritize Your Business
Once your idea is validated, it’s time to commit and make the business a priority. You’ll need to move your budget and your schedule around to make room for your business. It’s at this time where you’ll have to make decisions about how much you’ll work in your business versus other places, how much time you’ll spend on leisure and socializing, and how to reappropriate your budget.
3. Build Your Brand
Once you have the time and money thought out, then you have to think about how your going to build a reputation for a business that doesn’t have one. Every business starts without a reputation, but with consistent action (acquiring the work, doing the work, managing the work, and strategizing about the work), you’ll be able to build a brand.
Some other things to be mindful of when you’re building your brand are your logo, color palette, and your overall business aesthetics. You can get help designing the aesthetics of your brand at Fiverr. Check out the Fiverr website when you click here.
4. Start Getting Leads and Traffic
One of the large turning points in business is when you begin to get a consistent flow of interest in what you’re doing–this is a good sign. You’ll be able to identify this when your email is getting consistent messages, your phone is getting calls, and your website is getting inquiries. Get the training, support, and tools to your business online here. Get started for free. No billing info required.
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5. Convert the Traffic into Customers
Sometimes, entrepreneurs find a bottleneck here. They start to get leads and traffic. The awareness of their business goes up, but they don’t have a process to converting the traffic into customers. Make sure to plan this. You’ll want to have a method for taking a person who doesn’t know you from prospect to buyer.
This process could mean you have a form on your website, a complete online checkout, you consult and close by phone, or whichever process you feel most comfortable with.
6. Form Your Business Legally
You may have to move this step up, but if you don’t have to, I’d wait until you’ve proven the business concept is something you want to stick to. If you incorporate before you make your decision, you’ll still have compliance and you could also need to do dissolution.
If you wait until you’ve tested out the process and know it’s something you’ll want to commit to doing, then you can incorporate to take advantage of the tax breaks and legal liability that comes along with incorporate. I recommend Swyft Filings for help with incorporation because they have legal professionals who make sure your paperwork is done right, they can help you decide which state and business structure is most appropriate, and they’re very affordable. You can check out Swyft Filings incorporation services here.
7. Organize Your Books
When you’re spending and receiving money in your business, it can get difficult to keep up with what’s going on! The government requests taxes be filed quarterly or annually (depending on your business type). You don’t want your business finances to slip thru the cracks, which is why I recommend you find an accounting solution. I recommend either Freshbooks or Quickbooks for managing the financial data in your notary business, whichever is the easiest for you to understand.
In my household, with two entrepreneurs, we use both: Freshbooks and Quickbooks. Freshbooks works best for my marketing agency (since I don’t have inventory or other things), and Quickbooks works best for my husbands’ construction company. You can decide which is best for you by checking out my reviews below. They both have free trials, so it’s no risk.
8. Get Your Office Supplies
As a notary business owner, you’re going to have administrative work. You’ll have to sign documents, mail them, fax them, and perform other administrative and entrepreneurial tasks. Getting the right office supplies (including desks, lighting, a dedicated business line, productivity documents, and making your environment pleasant) is going to make you much more efficient and productive.
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9. Systemize Your Process
Once you’ve learned how to perform each service you’ll offer and how to do the other tasks required to run your business, it’s imperative you systemize those processes. You want to be able to offer consistency, high quality, and a good overall impression to your clients, vendors, and employees. When you have systems in place, it helps to ensure the consistency can be offered.
10. Reinvest and Scale
Once you’re getting cashflow, it’s important you make sure to cycle a portion of it back into improving your products and services, making more people aware you exist, saving for upcoming opportunities, improving your skills, and hiring the help you need. Udemy is a great vendor for courses that can sharpen your skills in business, and Zenefits is my #1 recommended human resources solution.
Ready to Start Your Notary Business?
The goal of this article was to show you how to start a notary business. Hopefully, you’ve gotten the details you need to decide whether this is a good option for you and to take action.
I explain all of these concepts in much more detail in my free Business Growth Blueprint E-course and my full video course on creating your full minimum viable business plan at Wealthy Affiliate. You can get access to my e-course and all of my free bonuses by signing up here. You’ll also get 7 free days of coaching with me, 10 lessons of internet marketing training, and two free websites you can try out for free. Let’s get started building your Notary Business.