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A public notary is a person who has authorization to witness signing of legal documents and to administer oaths. Designation of notary is determined by each state and there may be different requirements state by state to achieve this credential. Notaries may work for banks or attorneys, but many choose to freelance and work for themselves.
Start a Notary Business
Become a notary by completing notary training and taking the notary exam. Training requirements are state-based and training may be completed online or in person. Instruction on training and the exam can be found through the National Notary Association.
Complete an application for appointment to become a notary and submit it with required fees to your state notary commissioning authority.
Follow through on your state’s commissioning process, which may include taking an oath and becoming bonded. Obtain your notary stamp once you have been approved.
Operate a Notary Business
Determine a business name and fees to charge for your notary services. You may want to create a name separate from your own to give your business an identity such as “Main Street Notary”. Research comparable businesses to determine the best rate to charge.
Join national and state notary associations, such as the National Notary Association and Pennsylvania Association of Notaries. Associations will include you in their databases for customer referrals and online searches and will provide current industry news and products.
Set up your physical workspace such as home office, rental office or retail space and furnish with office supplies, stamps, postage and a record-keeping system to track clients. Office space may not be necessary should you decide to travel directly to clients who need your notary services.
Market a Freelance Notary Business
Determine a strategy for marketing your business. Include marketing methods such as word of mouth, online campaign, and print advertising and plan how to execute each method.
Order and hand out several business cards to each customer and ask them to spread the word on your availability, services and fees. Tell each person you meet about your business.
Create a website that advertises your notary services, availability, contact information and customer testimonials. Register your website and business with online phone books and notary directories.
Design a print advertising campaign that includes a print ad, flyer and signage. Submit ads in local newspapers and community print publications' classified section. Hang flyers on community bulletin boards at retail stores, grocery stores, parks, and libraries. Place a sign outside your home or office advertising your notary services. Place an ad in the phone book.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.
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