How to Start Your Own Live Scan Business

Live Scan is a business that offers fingerprinting and identification services to people who need to identify themselves for government and school system background checks and FBI verifications. The businesses also often feature other services, such as passport photographs, a notary public and sometimes copy services. Enhancing your Live Scan business can help really get it off the ground.

Create a Live Scan business plan. Although this type of business requires a smaller amount of initial capital than many others, you will need to invest in the technical equipment. You may not need employees initially, but you should at least have a freelance assistant in case a lot of work comes in at once. Include long-term and short-term plans for your business projections. Start with one-year increments, then go to five-year increments after the first five projected years of your business.

Get the funding for the business. You can apply for grants with the assistance of the Small Business Administration. You can also consult your local library for grants that you may qualify for based on your personal circumstances, such as your status as a veteran, a member of a minority group or a woman. Loans are the way to go if grants can't come your way. You should try to take out the loan in the company name. Avoid using personal assets to support your business. A large percentage of businesses fail. While you should look no the bright side, hoping for the best necessitates that you plan for the worst.

Purchase the equipment. You can purchase it used or new (see Resources below). You'll need expensive equipment, but the future and present abilities of your business rely on the quality of your equipment. It's wise to spend money on new equipment. If it malfunctions mid-appointment, you'll lose the trust of that customer--and as many people as she can tell about you. The most basic piece of equipment for a Live Scan business is a fingerprinting machine, one that can do both thumbprints and all 10 fingerprints in a sitting. A RealScan-10 machine is often used. Both wet and dry fingers should work on the equipment. Purchase the equipment outright, and it's yours to keep.

Target your business advertising to those who will need it. Leaving business cards with organizations such as Kelly Educational Staffing and substitute teacher employee firms will lead to many target clients. If you offer their clients a discount, this helps them look better to potential teachers, and it helps you gain customers. A teacher must undergo a background check, and he often needs a couple of fingerprint records.

Stand by the quality of your work. Offering guarantees will help your customers trust you, especially when you are new to the business and are offering such a custom service.


About the Author

Robin Raven was first published in 1998. She has contributed to newspapers, magazines and online publications, including "The Malibu Times," "Act'ionLine" for Friends of Animals, USA Today Travel Tips and the official Melissa Gilbert website. Raven specializes in travel, health, beauty, culture, vegan nutrition, joyful living, arts and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing.