How to Become a Notary & Own a Notary Business in All States

March 28, 2024




Embarking on a career as a notary public presents a unique opportunity to play a crucial role in the legal system, assisting with the authentication of important documents. Beyond the civic importance, it’s a path that offers the potential for steady income and the flexibility of owning your own business. This guide outlines the essential steps to becoming a notary and starting a notary business in the United States.

Understand What a Notary Is & How Much You Can Earn

What Is a Notary? A notary public is an official appointed by the state to serve as an impartial witness to the signing of documents, deter fraud, and ensure that the signers of documents are who they say they are and understand the contents of the documents.

Earning Potential Your income as a notary can vary widely based on your location, the demand for notary services, and how you choose to offer your services (e.g., mobile notary services or notary signing agent for real estate transactions). Some notaries also charge for related services such as document preparation.

Confirm Your State’s Requirements

Each state in the U.S. has its own set of requirements to become a notary. These can include age, residency, and background check requirements, as well as specific training or education. Checking with your state’s notary authority (often the Secretary of State’s office) is the first critical step.

Complete Your Education & Training

Many states require prospective notaries to complete a training course. These courses cover the legal aspects of notarization, ethics, and procedure. Training can often be completed online and is sometimes provided for free by the state.

Pass the Notary Exam

Some states require passing a notary exam as part of the qualification process. The exam tests your knowledge of state-specific notary laws and best practices. Preparing for and passing this exam is a pivotal step in your journey.

Get a Surety Bond (if Required)

A surety bond protects the public from any mistakes you might make while performing notarial acts. Not all states require a bond, but for those that do, obtaining one is a necessary step before you can be officially commissioned.

Submit a Notary Application

After fulfilling educational requirements and, if necessary, securing a surety bond, you’ll need to submit a notary application to your state’s notary regulating office. This application will ask for your personal information, background, and proof of your bond and education.

Buy Your Notary Supplies

Once approved, you will need to purchase your notary supplies, including a notary seal (stamp or embosser) and a journal to record all notarial acts. These supplies are essential tools of the trade for every notary.

Advertise Your Services & Start Your Notary Career

With your commission in hand and supplies ready, it’s time to launch your notary business. This involves marketing your services to potential clients, which can include law firms, real estate agencies, banks, and the general public. Building a professional website, leveraging social media, and networking in your local community are effective strategies to get started.


Becoming a notary and starting your own notary business is a process that requires diligence, education, and adherence to your state’s laws. However, the rewards—flexible work hours, the ability to help your community, and the potential for a profitable business—make the journey worthwhile. By following these steps and committing to continuous learning and professional development, you can establish a successful career as a notary public.