Training for Notaries & Signing Agents
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Mobile Notary Business Information
Keeping RecordsIf your Notary business is an add-on to another business, you will simply add in your fees and expenses to your existing business. For instance, if you you're a virtual assistant, then your Notary work is simply another service you offer, like transcribing pages or creating a database.
Most mobile Notaries work as independent contractors, and keeping records is pretty simple.
You need to keep track of the money you make as a Notary Public separately from money you make for any other service or product you provide. It's extremely important that you account for your actual Notary fees separately from your fees for mobile services, as discussed in the first part of this guide. Not only is it required by law, but you'll understand another important reason in the next section of this guide.
You will also need to keep track of the usual business expenses, such as mileage, parking fees, tolls, etc. Keep track of any office supplies, printing, advertising, business cards, etc. If you dedicate part of your home for an office, or use a space in your home entirely for walk-in clients, you can apply the IRS formula for claiming that.
You can keep track of these things in a notebook, ledger, or use one of the many software bookkeeping programs to track your daily income and expenditures. Since this business requires you to travel, even if locally, get used to keeping a notebook in the car and jot down every trip. When you print out a map, file it after that job as documentation. You may never be asked to validate anything, but it makes sense to be prepared. If you make note of a few extra facts in your Notary Journal, this will also help document each and every Notary fee. This provides a sort of double entry system that will back you up, since every Notary assignment is accounted for in that journal.
Keeping monthly totals helps you to know how your business is doing as you go along. At year end, the yearly totals will be used to figure your taxes. It's a good idea to go to the IRS website and get the publications that are applicable to your business, whether it be sole proprietor (probably) or whatever; like if your Notary business is added on to an existing business or job. See what information is required, and use that as a base for the records you keep, and for your filing system. Keep it as simple as you can. At tax time you should have everything you need to plug in the numbers or to send to your tax preparer.
You can also use your records for analyzing where you make the most money, which type of business is busiest in what months, what hours of the day or days of the week are busiest, etc. Sometimes you can spot a trend and take advantage of it.
Next - Tax Exemption Just for Notaries
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