One work-from-home option open to Administrative and Executive Assistants is working as a Notary Public. The main job of a Notary Public is to witness signatures and attest to the authenticity of the signature. Depending on the applicable laws for your state, a Notary may also administer oaths and affirmations, certify copies, and in some states even officiate at weddings.
Why Run a Notarial Business
There are pros and cons to offering notarial services. First the pros.
- You can get started with a limited investment. You’ll need a computer and internet access, of course, and you’ll also need a laser printer. While a dual tray printer is ideal (and will save you paper expense in the long run), you can get by with a decent single tray printer that can take both letter and legal size paper. I watched the sales and got my first printer for just $153. I used it for almost a year until I could afford to buy a dual tray printer.
You’ll also need, of course, to have your Notary Public license. That can cost anywhere from $30 to a couple of hundred depending on your state requirements. You may also want to take a course designed for Notary Signing Agents, as this is where you’ll get most of your work. An NSA works for mortgage companies and title agencies going to people’s homes and helping them sign loan paperwork.
So, for a few hundred dollars you can be up and running as a Notary Public.
- You get to meet all kinds of interesting people. This is my favorite part of being a Notary Public. You’ll meet people from all walks of life doing this work, so if you love meeting people, this is a great job.
- The job is fairly easy to learn. With the exception of a couple of states, the regulations are fairly clear cut and easy to manage. A few states though, like California and Florida, have extensive regulations and rules that you need to learn, so if you are in those states, you can consider this point a con.
- This is a great part-time job. If you only want to work limited hours to supplement your income, you can definitely do it as a Notary Public.
Are You Sure You Want To Get Into This?
There are also definite cons in this field.
- The mortgage industry is in a slump. Since most of your work will come from the mortgage industry, that’s a problem. Most notaries that I’m in communication with say that their work is way down. However, if you just want part-time work, then this isn’t as major a problem. But if you want a full-time job, then this may not be the ideal economy to start your notarial business.
- There’s a lot of competition. Those organizations that teach and certify Notary Signing Agents have really flooded the field, while at the same time fewer home loans are being granted. So, again, if you only want part-time work, then this is a good job, but if you want to work full-time, it could be more of a problem.
- Your schedule really isn’t your own. You work at the whim of the companies you work for. They tell you when signings are available. If you can’t make it then, you don’t get the work. You also get a great deal of last minute work, so if you have many time constraints or an inflexible schedule, you might not want to go in this direction.
- This isn’t ideal for a Stay-At-Home-Mom. As I said above, your schedule is not your own, and you must go out to do signings. Even if you have an ideal set-up with a private office at home, the mortgage companies insist for the most part that you go to their clients, not vice versa.
For Further Information
Working in your own business as a Notary Public can be a nice career. If you think this is a job that interests you, you can get more information at the following websites.
- Notary Rotary – This is seriously the best notary website out there. It has many people with a great deal of experience who are very open to helping folks out. Warning, though, before you ask a question. Use the Search button first. They’ll also be happy to tell you a topic has been discussed to death and to use the orange button to find those discussions.
- National Notary Association – many long-time notaries have less than pleasant things to say about the NNA, mostly because they’ve flooded the field with Notary Signing Agents and they’ve been known to give out less than accurate information. However, if you are interested in doing this work as a career, you’ll at least want to look around this site and consider getting the NNA certification. Some of the big signing agencies require it, so for those new to the field, it can be important.
- Notary Cafe – This site also has nice forums and helpful folks, and I probably get the 2nd highest amount of referrals from this site (Notary Rotary being #1).