How to Start a Process Server Company

How to start a process server business or independent process server company.

Most states don't license or regulate process servers, and any legal adult who is not a party to the case may serve process or start a process server company. This is good news if you happen to live in one of these states, as there's no barrier of entry to becoming a process server. Print up some business cards, charge up your cell phone, and get started.

A smaller number of states, or in some cases municipalities or counties, choose to regulate process servers, and I get a lot of questions about the requirements in each state.

To make things simple, Process Server 101 compiled a state-by-state listing of the requirements to become a process server.

But what's the difference between a process server certification, license, or registration?

Let's take a look:

Process Server License

A process server license is typically the most formal type of regulation, in line with the licenses issued to security officers, private investigators, taxi drivers, and tow truck operators.

New York City is an example of a jurisdiction that requires a process server license. You will need to pass an exam and post a surety bond before you can serve process in New York City.

Process Server Registration

Process server registration is less formal than a license, the biggest distinction being that an exam is usually not required, though you will still have to register with the state or county.

In the case of California, you will also need to post a bond. Washington and Arizona are two additional states where registration is required.

Process Server Certification

Process server certification falls into two categories:

  • First, some states such as Texas and Georgia, require certification in order to work as a process server.
  • Certification may also refer to voluntary, private training programs designed to prepare you for a successful career as a process server.

Court-Appointed Process Servers

In a handful of states, Massachusetts being a notable example, process servers must be appointed by the state or county court. Usually this means contacting the court to verify the requirements and procedures for being appointed a process server.

While it can take some time and effort to get appointed, the upside is that court-appointed process servers often have far less competition and may even receive referrals directly from the court.

How to Start a Process Server Company

If you're ready to start a process server company and want to know more, go to Process Server 101 to learn how to become a process server.