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Why a Mobile Notary business paid off for me — and how I did it

Why a mobile Notary business paid off for me article

I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it wasn’t a surprise to them when I left a corporate job to start my own business. After trying a few other at-home business ideas, I knew I found the right one when I became a Notary. I started my Notary business, “Sealed with Integrity” in 2014 and I haven’t looked back.

You may be surprised to learn that 90% or more of my Notary work is general  mobile Notary work instead of Signing Agent assignments. That might surprise some Notaries, but I can tell you with confidence that you can make a living without focusing on loan documents.

But I won’t sugarcoat it — it took a lot of work and I’m still putting in a lot of effort today. Here’s how I did it.

  1. Plan before you start your Notary business
  2. Factor in time and state laws when setting your fees
  3. Be willing to work with other Notaries
  4. Market yourself without being too pushy
  5. Never stop your Notary education
  6. You MUST put in hard work

Plan before your start your Notary business

Being a Notary fit my life very well, but I didn’t enter into this business blindly. Preparing a business plan and doing research before I started was essential. I did homework to find out how many Notaries were working in my area and what services they provided and most importantly, I listened to the people around me who would become my customers.

In every conversation I had when I was dropping my kids off at school or running errands, I looked for ways my Notary business could help them and what other type of non-Notary services they needed so I could offer those along with notarizations.

That’s how I expanded my business to include mobile Live Scan, fingerprinting, and passport photo services along with mobile Notary appointments. Again, I didn’t add these services just because a competitor down the street had them. I listened. I observed. I researched the market. What worked for me in the past may not work for you today — every Notary’s market is different. For example, if I was just starting out in my area today,  I wouldn’t invest in a Live Scan operation because of the cost and number of competitors in my area now. But when I started, the situation was different, I had time to get established and it paid off for me. So don’t just copy what other Notaries have done in the past. Find out what services customers need today in your area and tailor your plan to meet their needs.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t make a profit immediately. It takes time and patience to establish your customer base. Even with all the planning,  researching and listening I did, I still lost money  the first year of my Notary business. But I stuck with it, because I knew I could make it a success.

Factor in time and state laws when setting your Notary and service fees 

One reason I lost money that first year was I failed to make an important calculation: What should I charge based on the time I need to put in?

I now know what it will take to make a notarization worth it for me, and it’s critical I account for the time it will take. For example, if I’m paid $50 for an assignment and it’s going to take me 30 minutes total travel and notarization time, then I know I’ll make a profit. But if the task would take much longer, the same fee might not be worth it, because the task could tie me up and leave me unavailable for assignments later the same day.

Many other Notaries base their fees only on specific services they offer or material costs. They don’t consider the  time needed for appointments may be as important as the cost of office supplies. In other words, they don’t factor in the value of their time.

It’s also  important you know and follow the rules of your state regarding travel, service and Notary fees. In California, I can charge $15 per signature, and I can also charge for other things such as mileage and materials. In other states, fees aren’t as high and not every state allows charging fees for travel or other services. Make sure you know your state’s rules regarding charging for Notary services before you set your price list.

Succeeding with less Notary Signing Agent work

Though I am a qualified Notary Signing Agent, I don’t take many NSA assignments, mainly because the fees and time commitment don’t suit my business. Many loan documents can require dozens of signatures. Because of the nature of NSA work, this means I may not get the same amount of money for a loan signing as I would if I was notarizing the same number of signatures for a general mobile Notary job. It may also take me longer to complete the NSA assignment, cutting into the bottom line on time I’ve set for myself.

Working with other Notaries can help instead of hurting you

I’ve talked a little bit about competition. I have competitors, in a general sense, but I actually see other Notaries in my area as my colleagues. I have a good relationship with Notaries at the local UPS store. I refer customers to them when I’m not available, and they do the same for me.. It required a big change in how I thought as a Notary businessperson to see other Notaries as potential allies, but it has paid off. Today I have a strong network of other Notary colleagues, and by giving them referrals and helping them with their notarizations, I have cultivated more potential future customers or and good word of mouth — one of the most valuable ways to market your business.

How I market my Notary business without being too pushy

I do market my services in a lot of other ways. I have a website, and I do go to networking events where other businesspeople or potential clients want to learn about what I do and the services I provide.

But — and this is big “BUT” —  I’m careful not to be in full-on pushy marketing mode in day-to-day conversations I have with people around town. Instead, what I do is just try to be a good neighbor and citizen. For example, I volunteer in the community, because I care about my neighborhood, friends and neighbors. People know I’m a Notary — I don’t hide that fact — but they also know that I’m a genuine, honest person who they can trust and that I’m not volunteering just to market my business. The old adage of “you do business with the people you know” is really true.

Never stop your Notary education

An adage I live by is “once you stop learning, you stop growing.” That is so true for a Notary business.

I take every Notary education opportunity I can, even if I already know the subject. There’s always some nugget of information I pick up. I’ve also made some good contacts through these courses, particularly at the annual NNA Conference, which has allowed me to make some out-of-state contacts that have really helped out my clients or their families.

And it’s not just Notary education. I also take courses related to business subjects. This is how I’ve been able to keep growing since 2014.

To succeed as a Notary, you MUST put in hard work

Being a Notary isn’t for everybody. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met over the years who have told me they’re a Notary, but who have never notarized a document. And that’s because they don’t think of themselves as a businessperson.

Being a Notary isn’t a get-rich-quick, easy path. You have to work at it. But if you have a solid business plan and put in the work, you’ll be successful.

Finally, remember that at the end of the day, you are there to serve your clients, and whatever you say or do, your clients won’t forget if you helped them and did it well.

Suzanne Salamy is a California Notary and the owner of “Sealed with Integrity” in Brentwood, California.

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Jim Ruda

09 Mar 2023

Suzanne: I became a Massachusetts Notary three months ago. I have been executing my business plan focusing on Boston’s South Shore and Cape Cod. I found your article to be spot on and want to thank you. _jpr_

Pattie Long Malone

13 Mar 2023

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I recently moved to a new state and started my notary business. Knowing the laws & my market base has been essential in getting up and running. And you’re absolutely right I do more basic notary functions, then loan documents but I like that a lot more because I meet more people in my community. And my fellow notaries have been so supportive. It’s been a lot of work but I feel very positive.

Chris Cappannelli

13 Mar 2023

Great points, Suzanne - An follow-on to fees. In Florida, the max fee is $10 per stamp, and "reasonable" travel expenses; you may NOT charge a convenience fee, such as notarizations outside certain hours (which I disagree with, as time is money). On my remote side, I can earn up to $25 per stamp, plus a $10 technology fee per session to cover the cost of my hardware, software, monthly subscription fee, and high-speed internet service. And TOTALLY agree on the NSA service - I am one too, but many realtors and lawyers already have "go-to's", and a referral pool often results in you receiving maybe 1/2 of what is being charged, with the referring entity keeping the rest for simply shuttling business your way.

13 Mar 2023

Hello I'm pretty new to this so I'm starting with baby steps until I'm up and running with the business. Thanks for the advice on signing agent and mobile.

National Notary Association

13 Mar 2023

You're welcome! If you have any other questions come up, please feel free to contact us here.


13 Mar 2023

I never knew becoming a notary could mean so much success. I have been looking into this and little by little taking steps to become one again. I got the license 12 years ago because of my job. I left it expired and I heard about what a great work opportunity it can be if you put the hard work and study hard. Is very nice of you to share this. Big thank you!

Kimberly Miller

17 Mar 2023

Your correct on the marketing ect. Some signing company portals you can actually slip through the cracks and see how much the split is. Like 30/70!!! But I have been disabled my whole life and I found a notary career to be absolutely perfect for me and my husband is also a notary. Depending on where you live, the mobile fee can definitely be more than signing agent work. Incorporating other services is also a key to success, because like it or not, most people don't need more than a couple few notarizations in their whole life!.

Shirley Caldwell

03 Apr 2023

Good job! I would like to begin Apostille Agent work. I understand this is working in California and other West Coast states? Your thoughts?

National Notary Association

04 Apr 2023

Hello. You can find out more about offering apostille services in this article and video:

Loletia Mitchell

24 Jun 2023

Hello, I just registered my business and need to apply for my EIN and take classes to get familiarize with the notary world as I enter being and entrepreneur and being my own boss. My struggle seems to be how do I get the clients, etc. Thank you for sharing your experiences/


08 Jul 2023

So very helpful! Thank you for sharing your experience and giving everyone a reminder of reality. Put in the work and get the results!

Samantha Fain

13 Jul 2023

How do draw more business???

National Notary Association

14 Jul 2023

Hello. Please see this article for tips suggested by other Notaries:


22 Aug 2023

This article is absolutely brilliant! A true picture is painted about being a professional full-time Notary. I can’t stand these YouTube channels that advertise it as a quick, easy way to get rich! I have been a notary for 18 years, and this article depicts the truth about being a Notary.

09 Sep 2023

Excellent article.

Rose Washington

21 Oct 2023

Thank you for sharing. I started my Notary business this year. I found out very quickly that I could make money just being general notary. Loan signing will take up a lot of your time. So I am working at building my business as as general notary.

22 Oct 2023

Are travel fees recorded in the journal under notes? or shouldn't be recorded in the journal?

National Notary Association

23 Oct 2023

Hello. To help us answer your question, can you please tell us what state you are commissioned in?

Lisa Clarke-Woods

24 Oct 2023

I am commissioned in kentucky abd wanted to understand if travel fees should be recorded in the journal under notes or not at all?

National Notary Association

25 Oct 2023

Hello. In Kentucky, a journal is required for online notarizations only. “An online notary public shall maintain a journal in which the online notary public chronicles all electronic notarizations that the online notary public performs” (KRS 423.380[1]). An online Notary's journal entry must include the following information: “(a) The date and time of the notarial act; “(b) A brief description of the record, if any, and type of notarial act as authorized in KRS 423.310; “(c) The full name and address of each individual for whom the notarial act is performed; “(d) If identity of the individual is based on personal knowledge, a statement to that effect; “(e) If identity of the individual is based on satisfactory evidence, a brief description of the method of identification and the identification and the means used as well as the date of issuance and expiration of any identification credential presented; and “(f) The fee, if any, charged by the online notary public” (KRS 423.380[3]; see also 30 KAR 8:005 Section 6[2]).

Vanessa Brown

01 Dec 2023

Your article is on point! Thank you for sharing your experience!

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