What Should I Charge?

This is the most common question that we receive, especially from new Approved Service Providers– what amount should I charge for a service request?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Obviously, you should submit a quote that covers your costs in time and materials; after all, there’s no point in performing a verification on which you’re going to lose money! And you’re in business to make a profit, so you’ll build that in as well.

First, you will factor in the “hard costs”, some of which are:

  • Gas to drive to the appointment;
  • Postage to return the completed forms;
  • The envelope!
  • Paypal’s fee (deducted on our payment to you).

All of these costs can be calculated easily (see below for help). But these costs represent just a fraction of what will be a reasonable quote. Only you can decide what your time is worth. “Time is money” and all that, right?

(IMPORTANT: Neither we nor the employer will reimburse you for any costs including postage. Include all costs in your quote.)

Then, there are “market forces.” If you have just received an invitation to become an Approved Service Provider, it’s because we have a service request in a zip code in which we have few or no already-approved providers. If you’re prompt to become an Approved Provider and the zip code at the top of your invitation is in the list of zip codes that you serve, you could be the only provider submitting a quote on the service request. A relatively higher quote could get you the job.

On the other hand, if we send the request for a service quote to a larger number of Approved Service Providers, the lowest quote will win the service request, if it is ultimately accepted by our client employer. The amount you might charge as the only available service provider may not be low enough when you’re competing against other service providers!

But we still haven’t answered your question, have we?

The best that we can do is tell you that quotes of between $25 and $125 have been accepted by our client employers recently. If your charge is within that range, you have a great chance to win the task. Our clients expect higher costs in New York where the cost of living is higher, or in more remote or low-population areas.

Quotes for service may also be higher in California, where notaries are required to carry additional insurance if they also complete “immigration documents”, or Texas where there is confusion about whether or not notaries can complete Form I-9. Meanwhile, a service provider in the Austin, TX area is staying busy while quoting $35 to $50.

More Guidance: The “Maximum Recommended Quote”

Calculating a Reasonable Quote for Service: Mailing Costs