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Jumpstart your Google Business Profile with these 7 questions

James Berry, the author of this article

Launching a business is both exciting and daunting. For Notaries, being a solopreneur gives you the freedom to be your own boss, set your own hours, and run things the way you see fit.

But there are challenges, too — ones that can impact how quickly you can get your business off the ground and start generating income. For me, one of those was setting up a Google Business Profile.

The time it takes to get a Business Profile running depends on how prepared you are and Google’s verification process. You can’t control Google, but there are things you can do to be more efficient. Start by answering these seven questions.

  1. What’s your business name?
  2. What’s your business category?
  3. Do you need a business address?
  4. What number should customers call?
  5. What are your business hours?
  6. Where can people learn more about you?
  7. How do you want to verify your business?

1. What’s your business name?

If you’re like me, you probably brainstormed pages and pages of possible names and spent days whittling them down to the ONE.

Before you rush to claim that business name on Google, you need to decide on a business structure for your company. You’ll then want to find out from your state or county how to officially file and record your business. You should also check with your city to see what license and/or permit requirements you need to satisfy.

2. What’s your business category?

This one’s simple. You’re a Notary. Your business category should be “Notary Public,” right?

If your business is built around offering many different services, maybe not. By knowing which service is your primary and choosing the category that accurately represents your business, Google can better showcase it in relevant searches.

Something else to consider: According to Google, it’s possible to have two or more Business Profiles with the same address if each business has its own name and phone number.

3. Do you really need a business address?

Mobile Notaries who don’t intend on receiving customers in their homes might struggle with this question.

The short answer is yes, you need to enter an address so Google can verify that your business is legitimate. A P.O. box or retail mailbox address is not acceptable.

But don’t worry! Since mobile Notaries function as service-area businesses, you’re allowed to hide your address from the public. When filling out your Business Profile, simply select “No” when prompted to add a location that customers can visit. You’ll then select your service area on a map.

4. What number should customers call?

While it’s a best practice to separate your personal expenses from your business expenses, if you’re just starting out, maintaining a single phone line might make better financial sense.

However, if you decide to invest in a separate phone number, you’ll want to weigh all your options. Should you get a separate business phone with its own line? Or set up a second number on an existing phone?

No matter what you decide, make sure your phone line is working as intended before putting it into your Business Profile. Services like Google Voice let you receive calls to a different phone number on your current phone, but the setup can be tricky.

5. What are your business hours?

If your Notary business is full-time, your hours are likely very regular, like a typical brick-and-mortar. And that’s great!

But if you offer Notary services part-time, establishing consistent business hours — even if it’s only a few hours on evenings and weekends — will help a lot.

That’s because providing accurate and complete information when creating your Google Business Profile is a must. This could boost your credibility and set clear expectations with potential customers.

You can also add holiday or special hours in a separate section to let customers know when you’re not available. It’s a great way to balance your work life and stay transparent.

6. Where can people learn more about you?

Today, having an online presence for your business is essential. If you have an official business website, you’ll want to link to it in your Business Profile. This can drive organic traffic to your site, which boosts your site’s authority.

If you don’t have your own website, an alternative is to link to a profile listing for an online directory service like

Whether you have a website or a profile link, including it in your Google Business Profile will help customers find out more about you and the services you offer.

7. How do you want to verify your business?

Google will need time to verify your business, and they may require more than one verification method. But you do have a choice, and it’s best to make an informed one.

Mail: Per Google, it can take up to 14 days for you to receive the verification code postcard. This might work for you if the other options don’t.

Phone or text: This option only works if your business phone is set up and you can answer the call without it going to voicemail or if you can respond to texts.

Email: This might work for you if you’ve established a business email address and check it on a timely basis.

Live video call or video recording: You’ll need to show proof of your business location like your address or street name, operational items like marketing materials or business equipment, and examples to prove that you manage the space you operate in.

Google will often review the verification, which can take an additional seven business days before your profile goes live. They’ll let you know if additional verifications are needed.

A Google Business Profile takes time, but it’s worth it!

While there are many reasons why you should have a Google Business Profile, creating one takes preparation and patience, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

So, before you start filling out a Google Business Profile, try to have the following pieces of information ready:

  • Your business name
  • Your business category
  • A business address
  • A phone number
  • Your business hours
  • A business website or URL
  • Choice of verification method

Keep in mind that Google is constantly changing things. For example, when I went through verification, a live video call was not an option. Hopefully, the process will get simpler and faster. But for now, the more prepared you are, the more time you’ll save. And time, as you know, is money.

James Berry serves Notaries and customers who visit NNA’s headquarters. In addition, he is the founder of Sterling Signing & Notary.


Add your comment

Amy Armijo

12 Oct 2023

Great information , I listed my notary services on Google I started getting more clients the first week ! Most of my General Notary work comes from people that have found my Google Business Profile ✅

Jennifer K Cooper

17 Oct 2023

This is a fantastic article, am excited to share this with my network. Thanks, James, for some great insight into an everchanging platform we notaries will always need.

Beth McGee

17 Oct 2023

Great article! Thank you for sharing this information.

Janet Thomson

17 Oct 2023

James, great article! Creating a Google Business Page has been a game changer for my notary business. Once notaries are verified optimizing is the next important step.

Jen Neitzel

18 Oct 2023

This is fantastic information to help notaries understand the intricacies of Google Business Profile.

Tonya Kim Curbeam

18 Oct 2023

I found this information to be beneficial

Patricia Lankford

19 Oct 2023

Nice article. But what about the businesses that can't get verified? It's only been 5 months for me. Any suggestions?

James Berry

23 Oct 2023

I had a similar experience where it looked as if I was verified—but no, I wasn’t. After a couple of weeks, I decided to try again and chose post card verification. When I received it and entered the code, just like that I was verified. Now if you've done all that and you are still not verified, I suggest taking a look here Google Business Profile Help page Fix verification issues section (

Helen Alonso

23 Oct 2023

Great article. Thank you so much James. Like Patricia said what if you're just starting and your business won't be a able to get verified? Any suggestions?

James Berry

23 Oct 2023

If Google can't verify your business, then you won’t be able to set up a Google Business Profile. There are many other ways to expand the online presence for your business, including getting listed on directory services. You can also set up accounts on services like Yelp to get customers to leave reviews.


23 Oct 2023

Apparently Google no longer sends out the post cards.

National Notary Association

23 Oct 2023

Hello. If you are having issues getting verified and do not see the postcard option, reach out to Google or the Google community directly. According to Google's Business Profile help section, under “verify your business,” verification via postcard should still be an option. However, from the Google Business Profile forum, Anabel, a Google Platinum Product Expert writes, “In some cases, yes. You will see the methods activated for your business at the time of profile creation. If it does not give you the postcard option, you will not be able to choose it as a verification method.”

Angela Cooper

23 Oct 2023

Very Beneficial

Ev Sharp

23 Oct 2023

Well done! Articles like this are so helpful!

Norma C Ciani

23 Oct 2023

I have been a Notary for the last sixteen year, most of my work is around my friends and neighbors, most the time I don't charge any money, every one that need my service comes to my house since I do not drive, I have not expand too much. I need to do it now, since I am a widow now and need to increased my income. Please, give me your input. Do I go with google?.Thanks so much.

National Notary Association

26 Oct 2023

@Norma C Ciani: Google is just one of many ways to get the word out about your business. An advantage with setting up a Google Business Profile is that it’s free. You can also get listed on different directory services and set up accounts on review sites like Yelp.

27 Oct 2023

Great article and very timely for me. I am setting up my business and this helped me better understand how to do it and what to consider!

Becky Monzon

02 Nov 2023

I can see how following these steps makes things easier. Great article James.

03 Nov 2023

Great article. Thank you for all this information.

Chandra Towns

21 Nov 2023

Hello! This article came through at the right time for me. As I'm at the stage of creating my Google business profile. I need to research filing and recording my business. I keep getting conflicting information as to whether I should file as a sole proprietor or LLC and whether, as a sole proprietor, I must use my actual name or create a business name. If I create a business name do I need to record and file my business with the state and local.

National Notary Association

22 Nov 2023

Hello. This article may have information that can help you:


22 Nov 2023

I have yet put my business on google maps yet because I am still trying to figure out how do I video record, email, call etc to get my business on Google? It’s just not working and I’ve done it several times. How do I record all of that in one take? . I am a Mobile Notary and I don’t want to use my address. So what do I do?

National Notary Association

18 Mar 2024

Hello. We're sorry you’re having trouble completing your Google Business Profile. Go to and fill out the “Contact us” form at the bottom of the page to have someone from Google Support reach out to you.

24 Nov 2023

🫦 I Just retired from the government where I signed contracts for 7yrs. Actually, I just want to keep active 🤔 in a low key and still sign stuff. I don't want a Business. I just want to sign stuff to be helpful 🤔👀 Don't laugh, please 😅😅

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