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 Diversify and Prosper (sorry, Mr. Spock)
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55 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2008 :  7:25:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit inotarize's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with Edelstein's post - that diversification is key, more so now than ever before.

It's been one year now since I was approved by the IRS to be a Certified Acceptance Agent. I heard about this opportunity via a post on another notary site. I did my research and contacted the IRS. It took at least six months to finish all the paperwork and get contracted with them.

In short, an Acceptance Agent helps people apply for a TIN and/or EIN for a fee. There's plenty of information about this at IRS.GOV.

In the last twelve months I've had two phone calls inquiring about my services but no sales. I attribute the failure of this initiative to my lack of advertising, promotion and planning. I assumed just adding this service to my profile on various notary websites would be sufficient. I was wrong. This service targets a different audience. I knew this. I just got lazy.

I mention this in case someone here is considering this venture. I'd be a fool to discourage you from pursuing it. However, I would encourage you not to make the same mistakes I made.

I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. I plan to give this the attention it needs and deserves in December - in time for "tax time".

Whatever new venture you pursue, don't get lazy the way I did. Lucky for me my investment was my time and little else. However, as we all know...time is money.

I wish you all the best in 2009!

Michelle L. Riley
Huntsville Mobile Notary - We Come To You!
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New York
813 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2008 :  10:00:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by angelsaenz1967

where do you find out about this i went to the passport website with the govt. page, but couldnt find anything, any help would be greatly appreciated

That's the point! It's not easy to "learn the ropes" - be glad of that. You have to do the gruntwork to learn the procedure. That is what your clients are paying to avoid. I process Apostilles, it's not complex - but it IS hard to figure out the procedure. Nobody "in the know" is going to hand over hard learned/researched skills. You are going to have to do a LOT more work to learn the procedure. BTW: I do not do passport processing. It's good that it's hard to figure out - that makes the effort pay off better, as your clients will be just as confused. But your motivation is greater, you will use the knowledge over and over for different clients. They, on the other hand will not expend the effort on a "one shot" need - so they will pay you. Without a doubt all you need to know can be found on the internet - but not easily. Google, Yahoo, etc., are good starting points with various search terms. Look at the web sites (look but not copy) for possible hints, make a bunch of phone calls. Your fee is for your knowledge.

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
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5 Posts

Posted - 08/19/2008 :  01:20:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
where do you find out about this i went to the passport website with the govt. page, but couldnt find anything, any help would be greatly appreciated

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54 Posts

Posted - 08/18/2008 :  3:42:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit apaloosa's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Excellent advice!
It has been so slow here in Arizona I'm getting into another business. I'll still do some notary work but I just can't rely on it. As far as NNA and others - right now it is not worth the money to join anyway. I will not lose anything by dropping out with them as the SS's that I have worked for already have my name.

Best of luck to all at this time.

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New York
813 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2008 :  07:26:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Are you "just a notary" or "just a signing agent"? If so, you are missing out on MANY avenues of potential income.

I was checking for good keywords and ran across "acceptor notary" - there is a function that (in some states) notaries can perform involving "protests and payments due". The gist of it is to be a "trusted record keeper" - receiving and forwarding correspondance. Sometimes you issue a "Certificate of Bad Conduct" when demands for payment are unanswered. A google on "acceptor notary" will find you the site that does a lot of this work. The site has almost no competition - a nice little niche of "money in the mail".....

The beauty of this is that you can "stay at home" all the time as nothing is notarized. You are "an official keeping records" as best as I understand the function. ME? I'm not going into this line of work because of the possible legal exposure (but I truly do not fully understand the function - only glanced at the site of the person doing it). Also, frankly, I don't want "ongoing" situations - they mess up the ability of this retired person to take some vacation time "on a whim".

There are many other things "just a notary" can do. The key is a VERY carefull reading of your state's notary law. If it says you can charge for something - it is probably legal for you to do that something. And IMHO at a greater fee than if the client walked up to you as you now schedule, print, trips to post office, etc.

Let's stop beating signing services and the "signing agent" business to death by taking the "familiar road". Our commissions (per NNA) are good for becoming "Trusted Enrollement Agents" and many other functions. Key is what your state allows! Read your laws! Diversify!

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
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