Is Document Preparation the Right Business For You? Here’s What You Need to Know…
A Quick Look At The Document Prep Industry
Although the Document Preparation industry, with a current CAGR of 1.7 percent, is growing at what is considered to be a somewhat moderate rate, there is no denying that its growth is undeniably consistent and steady.
In fact, the Document Preparation industry continues to increase its profits with every passing year and is expected to bring in an impressive annual income of over $5 billion in 2020.
Individual document preparers earn a notable average income of approximately $83,000 per year. When it comes to the Document Preparation industry, slow and steady definitely appears to be winning the race.
What’s It All About?
Document Preparation companies provide a variety of important and necessary services to both individuals and businesses.
This includes the preparation of legal and business documents including wills, living wills and divorce, bankruptcy, incorporation and name change documents, just to name a few. They also supply desktop publishing and word processing assistance, as well as providing proofreading and editing support.
Although Document Preparation merchant services are not able to offer legal advice of any kind, they must ensure that the documents they provide are accurately prepared and adhere to the strict letter of the law.
Necessary Legal Qualifications
In order to become a Legal Document Preparer, aka Legal Document Assistant (LDA), in the United States, it is imperative that you check on the requirements of the particular state(s) you plan to do business in, as prerequisites do vary from state to state regarding certification, licensing and education.
For instance, the state of Florida has no legal or educational requirements whatsoever, whereas California requires either a four year college degree with a year of legal experience, a high school diploma with two years of legal experience, or certification from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association. Legal document preparers are not required to work under the supervision of an attorney in any state.
However, all LDAs and document preparing services must register with their County Clerk and pay a bond upwards of $25,000 in order to perform services.
High-Risk For Merchant Account Approval
Every Document Preparation service or individual will need to have a merchant account in place in order to be able to accept credit and debit card payments from its clientele. Unfortunately, the Document Preparation industry is considered to be high-risk for obtaining the necessary bank approval for merchant accounts. This is because document preparers do not take payments directly from their clients, but almost always accept payment over the phone, online, by email or by regular mail.
The banks regard these methods as far less secure than having clients make in-person payments with credit card in hand. Additionally, the industry has many “large amount” transactions and is plagued with chargebacks; both of these being a red flag to the banks.
However, with the help of a highly experienced and successful high-risk merchant processor, the Document Processing industry has found a way to successfully obtain their much-needed merchant accounts.
If you are seriously contemplating the idea of becoming a part of the Document Preparation industry and wondering if it’s the right business for you, the answer may very well be really simple and right in front of you.
If you like the idea of earning a strong and steady income, have a good head for detail and think you would enjoy being helpful and of service to both individuals and businesses in need, the Document Preparation may very well be the right business for you.
Joyce Hope is a writer who specializes in merchant accounts. She has worked for First Card Payments since 2017.