Learning Business Basics 

I wrote here recently about the top three big questions that all notary signing agents must answer. The biggest of those is the first: how will I do business?

One reason that so many new businesses fail is the person who jumps into it without answering that question. While there are some particulars about a notary business that must be taken into account, getting started without any knowledge of business basics is a recipe for failure.

Small businesses (notary or otherwise) need to address these business basics when they start so that they can avoid problems later on & have a firm grasp of where they are on the road to success. So, what are the business basics?

Here’s a great place to start in your business education, as it’s your tax dollars at work, so it’s free to use


Here is another one. There’s going to be a FREE online half-day conference coming on June the 8th (from noon to 5pm Eastern time, 11am to 4pm Central time, 10am to 3pm Mountain time, or 9am to 2pm Pacific time). It’s sponsored by SCORE and others. See this link for the details & to register: Small Business Success Virtual Conference.

And here is a third one: the Small Business Administration has an online Learning Center that offers free classes that are available at your convenience, 24/7/365. Check this out at

Go! Learn! Grow!

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Top 3 Questions Every Notary Signing Agent Must Answer

Every person who decides to become a notary signing agent will find that they have questions. In fact, there are so many questions that must be answered that it’s easy to overlook some of them or to be overwhelmed by them. So, I’ll try to break it down for you. 

When you become a notary signing agent, you’re launching a business. This means that what you need to know can be grouped into 3 top questions. 

  1. How do I run a business? 
  2. How do I handle the duties of a notary public? 
  3. How do I become a successful signing agent? 

Each of these Top 3 Questions has a host of issues wrapped up within it, so it will take unpacking of those issues to become a professional and expert notary signing agent, one who is capable of making a living at this. I will do some of that unpacking for you in my upcoming book on the NSA business. Please check back here in the coming weeks for news about that book. 

In the meantime, I invite you to read over the articles here, especially those in my For Notaries category and those linked to on my Notary Tips page

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On US Form 1099s and Notaries 

The subject of US Form 1099s and Notaries comes up often in the various notary groups on Facebook, so I hope the following will be of some assistance.

The notary associations and others will tell you to contact the company for a corrected 1099 if it is wrong or to request one if it is missing, but I would rather just use my own records of my income and expenses and file any necessary tax returns based on my own records.

That’s what you’re responsible for — keep accurate records & report what your records show when you file your taxes. You aren’t responsible for whether they send you a 1099 or whether it’s accurate.

It’s your income. Of course, you should report it. The 1099s are more for their records to document their business expenses than they are for your records to document your income.

How a US Form 1099 May Be Wrong as a Statement of Your Income

Even if you receive a US Form 1099, it may not be an accurate record of your income.

For the vast majority of all notaries and other small businesses, your income is based on what you RECEIVED and when you received it. Your outgo is based on what you PAID and when you paid it. This is a cash accounting system.

Businesses that are incorporated and large enough to have a bookkeeper often use the accrual accounting, where their income is based on when the order from their customer or client is received, their outgo is based on when they place an order with a vendor, and other accounting matters can get complicated.

Smaller businesses may use the cash accounting system, the same one you use.

What this means is they may post an amount due to you in their records when you take the assignment, even though you won’t receive the funds for weeks.

Or, they may cut you a check in December, so it goes on that year’s books for them, but you don’t receive it until January.

Or their fiscal year may not be the same as the calendar year, so they may record the “expense” (what they owe you) in one calendar year and not pay you until the next one.

The 1099s are their report of their expenses, not your report of your income. You need your own records to know what you made and what you spent during the 12 calendar months. For your own business, it matters when you received money. For their 1099, it matters when they booked it.

So, no, you don’t rely on their 1099s. You have to report the income shown on them, but they aren’t your income for the year. If they don’t agree with your records, you can see whether any of the above apply. Or just report your income and expenses based on your records, which is what you’re supposed to do, in any case.

This article is posted for information only. The preceding is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion. I am not an attorney and you should consult an attorney, a CPA, or another qualified tax professional if you need answers to specific questions. 

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New Address for Notary Memphis

The address for Notary Memphis has CHANGED.

Effective immediately, please send all mail and packages to our new address at
2809 Kirby Road, Suite 116, #242,
Memphis TN 38119.

Thank you.

(The previous address was a Mom and Pop private mailbox facility and they decided to close with very little notice. The new address is a PakMail location that’s been opened for 2 decades through several owners, so I’m hoping it will be a more permanent address.)

Notary Memphis business card 10-31-16

Notary Memphis Business Card with new address

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