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When I first got started in this industry I had no 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:
- Check the legal requirements in your state.
- Start a flexible, low-overhead business.
- Promote your business with a website.
- Introduce yourself to law firms.
- Stay focused on finding clients.
Check Process Server 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 move directly to the next step.
Not sure about your state’s requirements? Check my growing index of process server laws.
Start a Flexible, Low-Overhead Business
Process servers have a big advantage over other small businesses because we have flexible schedules and don’t need office space or expensive inventory.
Most of us work from the road, and I started my 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 my startup expenses:
- A professional website (about $10/month and you can do it yourself).
- A stack of business cards ($20).
- 100 marketing letters printed at a local copy shop ($7).
That’s everything, aside from the gas to drive around and the cell phone I already had.
Of course, you’ll need to check the local business licensing requirements in your area (for example, registering a small business here in Colorado is $25 and a permit is not required for home-based businesses).
In total, I spent less than $100 to find my first client and made a profit after my second serve.
Promote Your Business with a Website
The easiest way to boost your professional image and get clients calling you (rather than the other way around) is to build a website.
I recommend you build your site before you print up business cards and letters, so you can feature the address on your marketing materials.
Bonus: List your website on Google Business to get found in search results and apps like Google Maps.
Introduce Yourself to Law Firms
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, leave a business card and your marketing letter, and let them know you’re accepting new clients (download a free .docx marketing letter template).
Bradley, one of my former readers from Arizona, used this strategy and was surprised when one of the law firms he visited gave him 13 papers to serve 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, property management companies, landlords, and anyone else who might generate a steady stream of papers to be served.
Stay Focused on Finding Clients
If I could only leave you with one piece of advice it’s not to get sidetracked by the small stuff.
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 business that will outlast the trends, and provide for you and your family for years to come.