Newbies: How to get paid a fair rate

Complaints about rates being offered are prevalent throughout every forum. Newbies, stop accepting those disgusting $35-$60 offers! Figure it out: Once you have subtracted your expenses for ink, toner, paper and gas, then factored in your time to print, prep, sign, (often faxback) and drop docs, you are being paid LESS than MINIMUM WAGE! This is not what you signed on for. Take some time considering your expenses, then the profit margin you want. Use those calculations to set up a rate sheet - how much you want for a HELOC, a refi, a reverse, faxbacks, under 100 pages, over 100 pages, over 25 miles, etc. The next time you get a text, respond with the rate from your sheet - the rate YOU have determined YOU are WORTH! Once you have established your rates, you will also establish some credibility as an experienced pro. Then you will begin to get offers from better companies.

Have some pride in your value as an NSA. Let’s put those low ball insulting agencies out of business!


Please…I am agree with you whom ever is accept these offers are crazy and should know better. If you need help making a fee sheet reach out to a seasoned notary. I am disgusted with a company that does annuities they pay a signing service 300.00 per assignment. The signing services reaches out to me asking to travel 35 miles for 50.00 really. In return we did come to an agreement and my fee was met. Yet when I call the company asking become a direct vendor since I am the one doing all they work. I am a small fry so I was given a decline.

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People that accept LOW FEE`S for signings will eventually hurt them selves down the road. When I receive calls that expect me to drive 35 miles for a HELOC and offer me $45 max I decline the offer. Unless, they assign me 10 HELOCS a day in the same town then I might consider it. Just not worth my time!!!

35 miles = 40 minute drive each way
Plus traffic, your time, your work and other expenses.
I personally do not reply OR answer their calls.

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A tip to remember. IRS will only allow you to operate a business at a loss for 3 years. After that, it is considered a hobby and you can’t deduct any expenses for a hobby. I operated at loss for 3 years; year 1 was $2,700, year 2 was $1,600, year 3 was $2,400. I did not accept any jobs after that for less than $150 and then it had to be within 10 miles of my home. So in year 4 and thereafter, I made a small profit. So if you are accepting those low-ball fees and find yourself unable to clear a profit, be aware that you will lose your ability to deduct any expenses related to your notary business.


Please note that the IRS can declare at any point that your business is a hobby and invalidate your deductions.

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I hate to disagree however when I added NSA to my service options, I found competition to be incredibly stiff and securing larger fees was next to impossible without a solid track record of completed assignments. While I want better rates, starving yourself hoping for the steak dinner once in while is foolish. I would take the lower fee the build my portfolio of completed assignments and build the good reputation. For me, it took about six months and now I get the higher fees for my region of the country. I know that seems counter intuitive and we should expect proper offers but the full offers aren’t forthcoming. I believe you have to work your way up to them.


You can operate a business at a loss for 3 years, per the IRS. If you are operating at a loss after the 3 years, then the IRS can declare your “business” to be a hobby and your supplies & expenses are no longer deductible. Please refer to the IRS rules before publishing things that are untrue. I have a relative who is an enrolled agent and another who is a CPA who advise me on the IRS rules.

To a large extent you are correct, but on the other hand, always remember that if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. It can be a delicate balancing act if you badly need the income, One idea would be to ask for more on the jobs you really don’t care if you get or not…like maybe the ones that are a longer distance from you. See what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results, which will give you the confidence to ask for more on all of them.