The buzz about work-from-home setups brought by the “new normal”, hustle culture and freelancing is pushing millions of Americans to reconsider their careers. How about you? Would you like to start a business and be your own boss with just little money? Consider shifting to becoming a self-employed notary.

But first things first, who is a notary? A notary is a trusted ally we have behind our legal documents. Also known as “notary public”, a notary has a very important job of combating fraud by verifying the authenticity of documents and the identity of document signee. A notary’s job is to act as a state’s officially designated witness that the document signee is legitimate and officially recognized as legal by the state government. They are answerable to their home state’s secretary of state.

A notary public officially records the signing and state approval of legal documents including mortgage documents, contracts, wills, deeds, prenuptial agreements, among many others.

Why would you want to be one?

Believe it or not, there’s a high demand for notaries. In fact, according to the National Notary Association, there’s only one notary for every 72 citizens in the US. Just imagine how many people in your community need their documents notarized. There are also small businesses out there who can’t afford having a full-time notary. You’ll be surprised how in-demand this under-the-radar job is. And with this, you could do a major career shift because there’s an opportunity to be self-employed and have a stable income.
The best part? This is a great way to serve your community.

5 Tips to Being a Self-Employed Notary

1. Apply and get your notary commission

Every state has a different procedure and specific requirements in applying to be a notary. Since notaries are considered public servants, they are listed and acknowledged under the Secretary of State’s office.

Some basics include being at least 18 years old, legal resident of the US and able to read and write in English. As simple as that!
Once you’ve completed the requirements, you can finally submit your application. Be financially prepared as well for expenses during the application. You can check your Secretary of State’s website for related fees.

2. Get equipped and educate yourself

Once your application’s been accepted, get ready to take the notary public exam, if your state requires. Study the basics about the duties of a notary. You may also want to read about notary law, different notary situations and challenges and best ways to identify signers.

If you want to take a step further, equip yourself on trends and issues related to the industry. You can also learn from other experts in the field.

3. Establish yourself as self-employed

Being your own boss means getting all your ducks in a row to establish yourself as a business. First thing’s getting an employer tax ID number (EIN) as a self-employed individual from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

And since being self-employed means running yourself as a business, it’s best to treat this as a business. Know your market, define your brand, manage your money and resources and set processes in place. Having all these defined can motivate yourself to treat your business seriously and in the best possible way.

4. Build your expertise

There’s a long list of documents needee to be notarized. Think of it this way, every institution, every business, every individual has different legal transactions every day. And somewhere in between, they’ll be needing your services.

Set yourself apart from the other notaries by building your expertise. If you’ve already been employed before, you can use your knowledge and skills from your previous employment to build on your portfolio. You can start in your locality to help you get quickly known in the neighborhood.

5. Build your network

Since this is a business, a network is important. Build professional relationships and associations who can help grow your business. Initiate a casual meeting or even a phone call, with an expert in notaries or in businesses and learn from their experiences. You can also ask someone to mentor you if the opportunity allows.

Forge relationships in your neighborhoods, they could be your immediate market to begin with.


Notaries offer essential services in order to perform legal transactions and make everything official. They’re working behind the scenes. They’re role is crucial in that states are exhausting ways to commission notaries.

You can start being a notary essentially even with bare minimum requirements and resources as discussed above. Being a self-employed notary can be a good opportunity because it can offer you both flexibility and stability in your career.

Being a notary public is a career and a vocation. You build your life and help others around you at the same time.
Thinking to switch careers and be a self-employed notary? TRUE Notary is here to guide you as you explore this opportunity.