How to Become a Process Server (Step-By-Step)

When I first got started in this industry I had no inside contacts, no experience, and no idea how to become a process server.

I was a senior in college and needed a flexible income that would work around my class schedule. Less than one month later, I landed a large government client and a business was born.

But rather than tell you my story, let’s take a closer look at how you can become a self-employed process server.

Steps to Become a Process Server:

  1. Check the legal requirements for becoming a process server in your state or local jurisdiction.
  2. Start a flexible, low-overhead business with little more than your smartphone.
  3. Promote your process server business with a website and popular apps such as Google Maps.
  4. Introduce yourself to law firms using inexpensive marketing letters.
  5. Stay focused on finding clients and growing your business.

Step #1: Check Process Server Legal Requirements

Legal Requirements

Most people are surprised to learn the majority of states don’t regulate process servers and any legal adult may serve civil process.

My home state of Colorado is one of them, and I was able to start my process server business without much hassle.

Not sure about your state’s requirements?

Check my growing index of process server laws.

If you happen to live in a state that regulates process servers, don’t despair. The requirements are often minimal and can be completed in a few weeks. For example, California requires only a background check and a simple bond.

While you’re waiting to finish up the requirements, research your local competition and prepare to launch your business the moment your process server license is awarded.

Step #2: Start a Flexible, Low-Overhead Business

Process Server Business

Process servers have a big advantage over other small businesses because we don’t need a commercial office space or expensive inventory.

Most of us work from the road, and you can start your business with little more than a cell phone and a stack of business cards.

You don’t have to quit your day job or risk your savings to become a process server.

Instead, grow your business part-time around your schedule and go full-time when you’re ready.

Let’s take a look at the startup expenses:

  1. A professional website (about $10/month if you do it yourself).
  2. A stack of business cards ($20).
  3. 100 marketing letters printed at a local copy shop ($7).

In total, you should spend less than $100 to bootstrap your process server business (minus state or local licensing expenses—if required) and expand only when you’re making a profit. In fact, I specifically recommend against investing a lot of money in gear or expensive equipment until you’ve made at least a few serves.

You’re much much better off investing in promotion and marketing your services to potential clients.

Step #3: Promote Your Process Server Business with a Website

Marketing and Promotion

The easiest way to attract clients and boost your professional image is to build a website.

The good news? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and you don’t need a professional designer. Do-it-yourself platforms like Site123 make it easier than ever to launch a professional website, even if you have zero technical ability.

I recommend building your website before you print up business cards and letters. Featuring your website address prominently on your marketing materials helps build trust and shows potential clients you’re a true professional.

Professional Tip: List your website on Google Business to get found in search engine results and apps like Google Maps.

Step #4: Introduce Yourself to Law Firms

Getting Process Server Clients

Once you have a website and you’re ready to start taking clients, it’s time to introduce yourself to law firms in the area.

Don’t think of it like selling.

It’s enough to say hello, let them know you’re accepting new clients, and leave a business card and your process server marketing letter (download a sample marketing letter template here).

Bradley, one of my readers from Arizona, used this strategy and was surprised when one of the law firms he visited gave him 13 papers to serve right on the spot. It was a big case and they were looking for a good process server when Bradley dropped in to introduce himself.

The key is to get your first client and then ask for referrals to grow your business.

Besides law firms, other places to market your services include auto dealerships, landlords, property management companies, and anyone else who might generate a steady stream of papers to be served.

Step #5: Stay Focused on Finding Clients

Focus on Results

If I could only leave you with only one piece of advice about becoming a process server it’s not to get sidetracked by the small stuff. Too many new process servers waste their precious time and energy on things that don’t matter, or they think they need to memorize every single law and requirement before starting their business.

Figure things out as you go, tune out the white noise, and stay focused on finding your next client.

If you can do that, you’ll build a real business that will outlast the trends, and provide for you and your family for years to come.

A Few More Things to Consider About Becoming a Process Server

  • If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick opportunity, look elsewhere. Process serving is a real business, and an integral part of the legal system in the United States. Unlike trendy scams and fly-by-night schemes, the process server profession isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, and offers real financial security for those willing to do the work.
  • It’s important to maintain realistic expectations when you’re first getting started. Set realistic goals and commit to achieving them within a realistic timeframe (for example, building your business website this weekend or finding your first client in the next thirty days).
  • While professional organizations can be a great way to network, most require at least a year of experience before you can join. Remember, you don’t need experience to become a process server! Fancy membership certificates look great hanging on a wall, but in the end your success and failure in isn’t determined by who you know, but by the effort you make.

Hungry for More?

Are you interested in becoming a self-employed process server?

Do you want to learn proven strategies for making $200+ a day with your own home-based business?

Checkout my comprehensive guide available exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions. It's helped hundreds of folks just like you get started in this industry.

Click here to learn more →

17 thoughts on “How to Become a Process Server (Step-By-Step)”

  1. I am also in Colorado. Do I have to take the training course before I start my own business from home? I want to make sure I’m not stepping on toes (legal wise).

    • Hey Lynn,

      There are no formal training requirements for process servers in Colorado. Any courses offered, such as the one offered by the Process Server Association of Colorado, are optional (though they are a great way to get some basic knowledge before heading out to the field).

      Hope this helps!

  2. Thanks, I’ve recently been searching for information about becoming a process server for a while and yours is the best I’ve discovered so far. But, what about smaller cities and towns? I live in a smaller city in South Carolina about two hours from Charleston. Is there enough demand?

    • Reggie, thanks for your kind words. There is still a demand, and in South Carolina you won’t need a license to become a process server.

      One of the things I suggest process servers in smaller cities do is team up with a process server in the nearest big city. They usually hate driving too far and can send you any work they get that needs to be served in your area. In exchange, you refer any serves in the city back to them. This worked well for one process server I knew who was based in a small mountain town about two hours outside of Denver, Colorado.

      If you want to learn more, read my article about finding process server clients or consider grabbing a copy of my book from Amazon.

  3. Hi terrific blog! Does running a blog such as this require a massive amount of work? I was hoping to build my own website soon to promote my process server business. I understand this is off topic but I simply wanted to ask. Cheers!

    • Rob, I do tend to spend quite a lot of time researching articles, responding to comments, etc. I don’t do it for the money. Sure, I promote my book, but at $6.99 it’s never going to make me rich. I genuinely enjoy helping people get into this fascinating and little-known industry.

      I absolutely recommend building a website to promote your process server business, but it doesn’t have to take as much time as running a full-blown blog. In fact, you can get a professional website up and running in less than half an hour (read this article for more information).

  4. Getting clients make take some time. Most law offices
    will want to be billed at net 30. Which means they will
    pay in 30 days the invoice. Make sure you can afford to
    hold on to invoices for that amount of time.

    • You’re right, Samantha. It can take some time to get things going but all it takes is a few good, steady clients to grow your business. I’ve had clients that wanted monthly invoices and I’ve also had clients who have no problem making payment through PayPal in less than 24 hours.

      This is not a get-rich-quick type of business. But it’s worth taking the time to build your client list because the potential for long-term, sustainable income in the process server industry is huge.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Rhita, you’ll need to check with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office because they conduct the certification class for process servers in Orlando. Hope this helps!

  5. Yes, thank you! I could only find bits and pieces of information here and there and now I finally have a clear understanding of how to become a process server.

    I do have one question. What if you have no experience? Will law firms still work with you?

    • Thanks, Harvey. Your gravatar image is awesome.

      I had no problem getting my first few clients without experience. Sure, the bigger firms might pass but all it takes is one client to get some experience and overcome that objection.

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