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Start Your Own Notary Practice In North Carolina

March8
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A Resource Guide: How to Start Your Own Notary

Practice in North Carolina

Thinking of starting your own mobile notary practice? Great idea! Once you have your notary license, owning your own notary practice can be a worthwhile endeavor; however, there are several things to consider before diving in. A notary needs to fully understand notarial law, but also needs to understand what it takes to run a small business and make informed decisions. Issues can range from choosing specific equipment, to managing your bookkeeping, and also the ongoing task of marketing your business. Below are listed a few resources

Checklist

This checklist will vary depending on your individual needs, the type of notary business you determine and various other factors. In general, though, this list should get you on your way

  • Name your Business

In some ways, this is one of the most important decisions, as your company will be identified and associated with the name you choose. Traditionally, people choose clever names that include the word notary, but there are no hard and fast rules about naming your business and you may want to name your company after yourself so people easily remember your name. I named my company The Quick Notary after hearing Spanx owner, Sara Blankley, tell Oprah Winfrey that she’d read people remember brand names with the letters X, K and Q, such as Xerox, Quaker Oats and Kellogg’s. Be creative. The goal is to be memorable.

  • Location, location, location!

While being a mobile notary removes the constraints or having a bricks and mortar office, location is still a key consideration. Some notaries, especially when they are starting out, may decide to travel, as well as accept signings in their homes. Meeting with clients and running a service out of your home is probably not a viable long-term option, so think about where you can conveniently meet clients in your immediate area (coffee houses, libraries), and also think clearly about what geographical area you will cover. How far will you go? A 50 mile radius is probably reasonable.

  • Permits, licenses and identification numbers

If you intend to make considerable earnings from your seal, your practice will almost surely need a federal Employer ID Number (EIN) and you may also be required to obtain a privilege license.

Office Equipment

I will discuss equipment in great detail in other posts on this site, but for now will only briefly covers the items on the list.

  1. Furniture:

a. Desks – Consider a standing desk. I recently elevated my desk and got out of my chair. Best move ever!
b. Chairs- You will want to spend a little money on getting something well-designed and comfortable.
c. Trash cans, recycling basket – you will print many, many, many pages and generate lots of ‘scrap paper’.

  1. Electronics:
    1. Telephone System – A mobile service is fine, but professional voice mail is imperative. Also, there are marketing concern that suggest maintaining a landline is still a good idea. More on that later.
      b. Computers, Software, Printers, Scanner – More details on printer specifics in dedicated Printer Post.
      c. Copiers- You will need both copy and printer capabilities. Consider the All-In-One model printers.
      d. Fax machine- See item 2c.
      e. Calculator

Supplies

Your notary business will require all the usual office equipment including paper, envelopes, a vast supply of sticky notes, pens, pencils, staplers, legal and letter file folders, rubber bands, tape, , paper clips, colored sticky tabs, and more. It might be best to visit the nearest office supply store and just clean out the appropriate aisle! I recommend buying 2 boxes of letter size copier paper and 1 box of legal size paper. You will likely have enough to get you through maybe 5 months. Calculate title closings as approximately 400pgs/ each. A ream of paper is typically 500 sheets. There are 10 reams in a box. If you divide 5000 total sheets by the approximate 400 pgs. of each closing, you can expect to get roughly 10-12 closings out of each box of paper. Depending on your ambition and your goals, you can expect to sign at least one closing each weak to start. Also, get the jumbo binder clips to keep the packages together and legal file folders to leave with the clients.

  • Open a business checking account to accept payments.
  • Review your auto insurance coverage and consider increasing limits, if necessary.
  • Set up a schedule for your auto maintenance to rotate your tires frequently and aligned bi-annually.

Car maintenance will be crucial to your success. Have an emergency safety kit in your trunk (more on that later). I strongly encourage purchasing a GPS system as soon as possible.

  • Determine what type of marketing and advertising you will use

Your notary practice is a business in every sense of the word, marketing and advertising should be important considerations. Yellow pages, online advertising, newsletters, brochures, signage, and business cards are various options to consider. For more information on marketing and advertising, please see my Marketing Post where I offer several free and low-cost suggestions.

  • Design and set up a simple website – Please do not get overwhelmed with this step. Keep it simple. I have several free and simple suggestions in my Marketing Post. For several years my website was a simple static page hosted on (FREE) Google Sites. I loved it. My site was simple and Zen and more than sufficient. I’ve since used several other hosting site, paid and free, and I still recommend Google Sites as a solid option.
  • Soliciting & Accounting
  1. Much of your first year in business will be spent creating relationships and forging introductions. As a notary, you absolutely must set aside time to solicit the business of title companies, law firms, real estate brokers, hospitals and other business. Have a plan!
  2. See our list of 100 Title Signing Companies to get you started. Introduce yourself.
  3. Accounting – there are numerous software options available for accounting purposes, and of course hiring an accountant or making friends with one is always a good idea.

Your Bible – The Notary Public Guidebook – Commit This Book To Memory:

The Notary Public Guidebook for North Carolina may be purchased from The School of Government, UNC Chapel Hill, through their website at www.sog.unc.edu. Please visit the School of Government’s website, email sales@sog.unc.edu, or call 919.966.4119 for information about the latest edition.

Web: www.sog.unc.edu/pubs

Phone: 919-966-4119

Mail:

The School of Government
UNC – Chapel Hill
CB #3330, Knapp-Sanders Bldg.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3330

Useful Websites to Help the New Notary Business Owner:

 The U.S. Small Business Administration

A federal agency, while not specific to notary practices, provides helpful materials, such as articles and templates for drafting business plans and finding small funding.

SCORE.org

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years. They provide confidential business counseling services at no charge, local and online workshops and events, templates, and links to articles.

 

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One Comment to

“Start Your Own Notary Practice In North Carolina”

  1. Avatar July 26th, 2013 at 12:39 pm Jagmohan Khosla Says:

    I guess I’m gonna need to look up a couple more things, but this was a really good spring board.
    Jagmohan Khosla recently posted…Jagmohan KhoslaMy Profile


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