• Michol Bobb

Should I use a trade name and register an LLC for my notary business?


Many notaries ask this question when they get started. This does not offer a one size fits all response. Depending on your state rules and regulations, it may be more costly to set up an LLC. It would be easier to set up as a sole proprietor. You can get an EIN number from the IRS.gov website for free. This is especially important if you want to provide mobile notary services or work as an independent contractor. Most notaries are already working independently and companies usually ask for the SSN as part of the registration process. This EIN number allows you to identify your work income on your taxes and adds a professional touch when registering for companies to work with. The tradename can be as simple as using your own name, or something catchy (but professional) to make you stand out. You should also be able to search on your state’s business registry website to make sure your selected name is not already taken. However you choose to set up your business filing with your business name, you should make sure it is feasible for your tax filing situation so that you don’t have to pay any unnecessary and sometimes costly fines or fees. If you offer multiple business services, you can choose to set up one enterprise name that incorporates all of the separate lines of business or you can choose to set it up as multiple business names, but you have to make sure you do the accounting for each separately. For example, if you do loan closings and provide general mobile notary services, you would separate this income because it is priced differently. But you can use the same business name for both if you choose to have one.

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