How to Become a Process Server in 2022 – Process Server 101 (2022)

Whether you’re completely new to the industry, or you want to grow your existing process server business, this step-by-step guide will teach you how to become a process server and find more paying clients.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  1. The Basics
    What makes a good process server? Which types of backgrounds do they come from? What can you do now to get started?
  2. Check Process Server Legal Requirements
    Most states don’t license process servers. Check the legal requirements in your state.
  3. Start a Flexible, Low-Overhead Business
    Limit your expenses and start your business on a budget.
  4. Promote Your Process Server Business with a Website
    Build a simple website to generate leads and promote your process server business 24/7.
  5. Introduce Yourself to Law Firms
    Be proactive and let local law firms know you’re in business.
  6. Stay Focused on Finding Clients
    Expand your client list, outlast the trends, and grow a stable income for the future.
  7. A Few More Things to Consider
    Maintain realistic expectations and ignore negative distractions.

The Basics

Are you the type of person who stays calm in stressful situations? Do you think on your feet? If so, you might make a good process server.

But why would anyone subject themselves to the odd hours and on-the-road life of a process server?

It’s simple. Process servers like independence. They don’t want a boss looking over their shoulder. Most often, they like the challenges that come with such a unique career choice.

When I first got started in this industry I had no inside 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.

The process servers I’ve met in the years that followed all came from diverse backgrounds. Some had been law enforcement or security officers. Some had been carpenters and teachers.

(Video) How to Become a Process Server - The Basics of Getting Started in Process Serving.

It doesn’t matter what background you come from. All that matters is a desire to learn and a commitment to growing your business.

ACTION PLAN

  • Study the process server market in your area. How much are they billing clients? How do they advertise their services? What can you learn from them?
  • Educate yourself about the laws and regulations regarding process servers in your state.
  • Build a website to market your business.
  • Proactively introduce yourself to potential clients.
  • Stay on top of the latest technology for process servers.

Check Process Server Legal Requirements

You might be surprised to learn the majority of states don’t regulate process servers. In these states, any legal adult may serve civil process.

My home state ofColoradois one of them, and I was able to start my process server business without much hassle.

Not sure about your state’s requirements?

Check my growing index ofprocess server laws.

If you happen to live in a state that regulates process servers, don’t despair. The requirements are often minimal and can be completed in a few weeks. For example,Californiarequires only a background check and a simple bond.

While you’re waiting to finish up the legal requirements, focus on researching your local competition and prepare to launch your business the moment your process server license is awarded.

Start a Flexible, Low-Overhead Business

Process servers have a big advantage over other small businesses because we don’t need a commercial office space or expensive inventory.

Most of us work from the road, and you can start your business with little more than a smartphone 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.

(Video) How To Become A Civil Process Server | Shamika Saves

Let’s take a look at the startup expenses:

  1. A professional website (under $20/month for ahigh-quality website).
  2. A stack of business cards ($20).
  3. 100 marketing letters printed at a local copy shop ($7).

In total, I recommend spending no more than $500 to bootstrap your process server business (including state or local licensing expenses—if required).

Resist the urge to outspend your budget on needless expenses until you’re taking a profit. Even better, reinvest your profits on marketing and expanding your base of potential clients.

Promote Your Process Server Business with a Website

A high-quality website boosts your professional image and works to promote your business even when you’re not working.

The good news? It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and you don’t need to hire a professional designer.

Do-it-yourself platforms likeSite123make it easier than ever tolaunch a professional website, even if you have zero technical ability. Adding contact forms, custom email accounts, and your own domain name is as easy as clicking a few buttons.

I recommendbuilding your websitebefore you print up any business cards or marketing letters. Featuring your website address on your marketing materials helps build trust.

Professional Tip:List your website onGoogle Businessto get found in search engine 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, let them know you’re accepting new clients, and leave a business card along with your process server marketing letter (download a samplemarketing letter template here).

(Video) How to be a Process Server

Bradley from Arizona used this strategy and was surprised when one of the law firms he visited gave him 13 papers to serve. It was a big case and they were looking for a good process server when Bradley dropped by to introduce himself.

When you do get a client, overdeliver. Law firms are always on the lookout for a good process server, and they network with each other. One client raving about your service could lead to many more.

Besides law firms, other places to market your services include auto dealerships, landlords, property management companies, 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 only one piece of advice about becoming a process server, it’s not to get sidetracked by the small stuff.

Too many new process servers waste their precious time and energy on things that don’t matter, or they think they need to memorize every single law and requirement before starting their business.

Figure things out as you go, tune out the noise, and stay focused onfinding your first few clients.

One client leads to the next.

If you can do that, you’ll be on your way to building a real business that will outlast the trends, and provide for you and your family for years to come.

A Few More Things to Consider About Becoming a Process Server

If you’re looking for a get-rich-quick opportunity, look elsewhere. Process serving is a real business and an integral part of the legal system in the United States.

Unlike trendy scams and fly-by-night schemes, the process server profession isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, and offers real financial security for those willing to do the work.

Maintain Realistic Expectations

It’s important to maintain realistic expectations when you’re first getting started. Set practical goals and commit to achieving them within a specified timeframe (for example, building yourbusiness websitethis weekend or finding your first client in the next thirty days).

(Video) How To Become A Process Server In Alameda County California #processservertraining

Professional Organizations

While professional organizations can be a great way to network, most require at least a year of experience before you can join.

Fancy membership certificates look great hanging on a wall, but in the end your success or failure in isn’t determined by who you know, but by your efforts.

Technology

These days, you can pretty much run this business from a smartphone. But new technology isn’t just making our lives easier, it’s also changing the way we serve.

Did you know the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was served over the popular social messaging platform WhatsApp?

As the world becomes increasingly mobile and interconnected, successful process servers will need to adapt and embrace the change as it comes.

Who knows?

Maybe someday we’ll even be serving papers on Mars.

Hungry for More?

Are you interested in becoming a self-employed process server?

(Video) Process Server Questions & Answers

Do you want to learn proven strategies for making $200+ a day with your own home-based business?

Check out my comprehensive guide available exclusively on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions. It's helped hundreds of folks just like you get started in this industry.

Read the reviews →

FAQs

What process server means? ›

Process Servers are people who deliver court documents for a living, partiuclarly the summons and complaint necessary to start a trial. See Service of Process; Civil Procedure. Some specialize in delivering papers to defendants who are deliberately trying to evade service of process.

Who can be a process server in Missouri? ›

Any adult over eighteen (18) years of age, that is not a party to the case, or a member of a corporation or organization that is a party, may serve papers in Missouri. There may be additional requirements in local juridictions such as St. Louis or Kansas City.

Who can be a process server in Alabama? ›

Alabama, however, has no licensing requirement, though it does require that process servers be at least 18-years of age and be appointed by the court to serve the papers in question. Outside of those two requirements, just about anyone can be a process server in Alabama.

How do I become a process server in Miami Dade county? ›

To become a certified process server in the First Judicial Circuit you must:
  1. Pay a $300 non-refundable application fee. ...
  2. Pass a written exam covering the Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. ...
  3. Complete an application. ...
  4. Obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct. ...
  5. Obtain a bond in the amount of $5,000.

What is another name for a process server? ›

•process server (noun)

Pursuivant, catchpole, Summoner, law officer.

How long does a process server have to serve papers? ›

Normally, for routine service, the typical time to serve papers is 5-7 days. This is usually the first attempt to serve papers. If they fail to serve the defendant, subsequent attempts can be repeated a set number of times over a specified timeframe following the first attempt.

What kind of papers does a process server serve? ›

The types of legal papers delivered by process servers are statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions, injunctions or court summons. Tracing debtors is common for us. Or if you need someone to serve divorce papers or writs as part of family law proceedings, a process server is skilled in doing the job.

How many times can a process server come to your house in Missouri? ›

There is no limit to the number of times a process server can visit you or come to your house to serve you documents. Each process server has their own rules as to how many times they will attempt to serve documents. In most cases, three attempts will be made, and at different times of the day and on different days.

How long is a summons valid in Missouri? ›

Missouri summons last only 30-60 days.

What does perfect service mean? ›

Step 2: Perfection of Service (7-30 days)

Typically, a summons, the complaint and other related documents must be served upon the defendant personally, or upon another person of suitable age and discretion at the person's residence or place of business or employment.

How is a court summons delivered? ›

You must serve a Summons in one of three ways: Service by the Sheriff. Service by a special process server. Service by Certified Mail (sometimes)

How many days do you have to answer a complaint in Alabama? ›

A defendant shall serve an answer within thirty (30) days after the service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant except when service is made by publication and a different time is prescribed under the applicable procedure.

Can anyone be a process server in Florida? ›

Under Florida service of process rules, only an authorized officer (usually the county sheriff) or a competent, disinterested third-party appointed by the court can serve as a process server in civil cases.

What is required to be a process server in Florida? ›

Pursuant to Florida Statute 48.29(3), all persons seeking to be added to the 15th Circuit's certified process server list must: Be at least 18 years of age. Have no mental or legal disability. Be a permanent resident of the State of Florida.

Do you need a license to be a process server in Florida? ›

There is currently no statewide license. Each of Florida's 67 counties has its own requirements, with some counties offering no licensure at all. Licensure can be broken down into two categories with 4 counties that have both: Court-Certified: The judicial district licenses process servers in 40 counties in the state.

Do process servers call you before they serve you? ›

Answer: Legitimate process servers are highly unlikely to make such calls. The calls are almost certainly from scammers who try to frighten people into giving account information to transfer funds.

Do process servers leave voicemails? ›

Real process servers will call people they are trying to serve. If a server can get in touch with you, they will try to arrange a time to deliver the documents. A server may make a few attempts to call you and might leave a message on your answering machine.

Can you serve court papers by email? ›

In the case of service by email, a specified method can be agreed so that the receipt of court documents may be managed and monitored properly. Service of documents by email is 'opt-in'. Simply because correspondence is sent by email between the parties does not mean a court document may be served by email.

What is it called when people serve papers? ›

This is called service of process, and no lawsuit is complete without it. The reason you must serve the other side is obvious: Defendants in a case need to know about any claims against them and must be notified of the day, time, and place that they can show up to defend themselves.

How do you serve papers that you can't find? ›

Preform Search
  1. Send a USPS mail to the person's last address.
  2. Search social media (networking) sites.
  3. Use online service that search for people.
  4. Contact the relatives or friends.
  5. Call”411″ ask for city where you think the person may live.
  6. Go to tax assessor's office or recorder's office and search property records.

Why do papers need to be served? ›

Serving papers on another person is an official handing over of documents. Papers must be “served” on any other person who is involved in the law suit or who the law requires get the papers. This lets the person(s) in the case know what you are telling the court and what you are asking the court to do.

Can a process server leave papers at your door in Texas? ›

If granted, the judge will allow the server to leave the documents with anyone over the age of 16 years of age at your residence or, more often, simply leave it affixed to your front door or on your door step.

How many attempts will a process server Make in Texas? ›

Process servers often make three efforts to process server. To increase their chances of serving legal documents through a legal process and process service, these attempts are usually performed at different times of day and on separate days.

Can a process server leave papers at your door in Arizona? ›

While process servers may not legally enter a building, they may leave a summons taped outside of your door, as long as it does not display the contents.

Can a process server trespass in Missouri? ›

Of course, it is legal for Process Servers in Missouri to go on the property including fenced and gated areas. They cannot enter the home unless invited, but can look into windows and if they see the target, and believe that the target can hear them, may read the summons aloud and leave it outside the window.

How many days before court must you be served in Missouri? ›

Service of summons — court date included in summons. — 1. Such summons shall be served as in other civil cases at least four days before the court date in the summons.

What happens if summons not served? ›

If anyone is unresponsive to a summons also known as legal notice the court would respond by or the course of action of the court would be initiating ex-parte legal proceedings which would entail the plaintiff proving his claim through the legal procedure as well as by evidencing supporting his claim.

What are the 3 most important things in customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›

7 Must-Have Qualities of a Stellar Customer Service Rep
  • Problem-Solving Skills. The number one skill you need to excel in for good customer service is problem-solving. ...
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Friendly Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Business Acumen. ...
  • Product/Service Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Time Management.

How can I prove someone sent a text? ›

You can authenticate text messages by presenting: a “copy,” a screenshot, photo, or print-out of the message that includes identifying information that links the message to the texter, and. testimony or affidavit that the copy is a true and accurate representation of the text messages.

How do you answer a summons without a lawyer? ›

Contact the clerk's office of the court where the lawsuit was filed. You'll find a phone number and address for the clerk's office on your summons. The clerk will be able to tell you exactly what documents you should file with your answer and whether any filing fee is required.

Does a summons expire? ›

(1) No original summons shall be in force for more than twelve months from the day of the date thereof, including the day of such date; but if any defendant therein named shall not have been served therewith, the plaintiff may apply before the expiration of twelve months to the Master for leave to renew the summons.

What must a summons contain? ›

A summons is a court issued document which starts the litigation process. The summons states the names of the complainant, known as the plaintiff, and the defendant(s) against whom the case is made. The summons also includes the name of the court from which the summons is served and the case number.

How long does a process server have to serve papers in Alabama? ›

When the person serving process is unable to serve a copy of the process within sixty (60) days from issuance of the process by the clerk of court, the person serving process shall endorse that fact and the reason therefor on the process and return the process and copies to the clerk, who shall make the appropriate ...

How long does a defendant have to reply? ›

In the majority of cases, the defendant must: acknowledge the letter of claim within 21 days, and. provide a full response within 3 months of acknowledgment of the letter of claim.

How many times can you amend a complaint? ›

Rule 15 of the federal rules of civil procedure allows the plaintiff to amend their complaint one time within 21 days of serving the original complaint or at any point before the defendant answers the complaint.

Can you refuse to be served papers in Florida? ›

If the party to be served is identified by the process server but they refuse to physically take the papers, even if they are not physically violent or physically resisting, they can be charged with a crime. They will also still be expected to show up in court, and service of process is considered to be complete.

Can a convicted felon be a process server in Florida? ›

Process Servers are tested on their knowledge of proper service in accordance with the Florida Statutes. Background checks are conducted to ensure no convicted felons or arrestees convicted of moral turpitude are allowed to represent the Court.

How Much Do process servers make in Florida? ›

How much does a Process Server make in Florida? The average Process Server salary in Florida is $38,007 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $32,840 and $43,885.

What can a process server legally do in Florida? ›

A process server is a disinterested person who delivers legal documents to a party involved in a court case. These documents may be a summons to appear, a complaint, or a subpoena calling them to testify. In Florida, the sheriff serves process in the county where the person to be served is found.

What is an in process server? ›

Process servers are trained to find individuals and ensure that they are given notice of a legal action that is being taken against them. Proper service of process is required before a legal proceeding can get underway.

Can a process server trespass in Florida? ›

SB 912 provides that a process server, either as appointed by the sheriff or the court, does not commit the criminal act of trespass and is immune from civil liability when the process server needs to enter property other than a structure or conveyance to serve process.

How do I start a process server business in Florida? ›

To become a certified process server in the First Judicial Circuit you must:
  1. Pay a $300 non-refundable application fee. ...
  2. Pass a written exam covering the Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. ...
  3. Complete an application. ...
  4. Obtain a Certificate of Good Conduct. ...
  5. Obtain a bond in the amount of $5,000.

Can a convicted felon be a process server in Mississippi? ›

A person may not be licensed as a process server if they have been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor crime involving abuse or assault; or of a misdemeanor crime involving dishonesty or fraud or is doing business under a name that is identical to the name under which a different process server is licensed, or is so ...

What happens if a summons is not served in Florida? ›

Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070 (j) states that a complaint must be served upon the defendant within 120 days after the complaint is filed. If it is not served within this time frame, a motion to dismiss is appropriate and the case is dismissed without prejudice.

Why is a process server calling me? ›

Answer: Legitimate process servers are highly unlikely to make such calls. The calls are almost certainly from scammers who try to frighten people into giving account information to transfer funds.

What powers does a process server have? ›

What can a process server do?
  • Gather information to locate the address of an absent recipient.
  • Act quickly to speed the serving process along.
  • Follow specific instructions or guidelines where necessary.
  • Adhere to all Data Protection and Human Rights legislation.
8 Dec 2021

What kind of papers does a process server serve? ›

The types of legal papers delivered by process servers are statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions, injunctions or court summons. Tracing debtors is common for us. Or if you need someone to serve divorce papers or writs as part of family law proceedings, a process server is skilled in doing the job.

What is salary of process server in India? ›

The average salary for a process server is ₹32,183 per month in India.

Do process servers leave notes? ›

Process servers cannot leave papers in a person's mailbox. By federal law, only authorized U.S. Postal Service employees are allowed to open the mailbox or touch the mail of another person. Servers who tamper with someone's mail or mailbox are subject to criminal charges.

Do people call you before they serve you papers? ›

Process servers do not usually call ahead of time since this gives people time to avoid being served court papers. A process server will never ask for any money. They do not collect money owed for divorce cases, child support, or any other legal reason (especially via a wire transfer).

Do people call before they serve you? ›

That's a long way to say yes, real process servers do sometimes call before they come attempt to serve you. One last thought: professional process servers call the people they're trying to serve because it works. Most people respond well to somebody trying to help them by delivering legal documents.

How does a process server prove service? ›

Once a process server has served the documents on the respondent they must then complete a proof of service. This could be in the form of a certificate, a statement or an affidavit (a sworn statement) of service. A trained process server will know which is the required format for the proof of service.

What investigative specialty does a process server use most? ›

Investigative Techniques That Process Servers Can Use

Interviewing known associates. Surveilling the defendant's last known address to identify a person's whereabouts and give a process server the opportunity to counter a person's evasive tactics.

What does it mean to be served with legal papers? ›

Service of documents means that all the papers in the case have been provided to the other party so that they are fully aware of the details of the claim.

What is it called when you get served? ›

If you sue someone, you must serve them with a Summons. This gives them notice of the lawsuit. “Service of process” is the formal name for giving a defendant a Summons to come to court.

What is it called when people serve papers? ›

This is called service of process, and no lawsuit is complete without it. The reason you must serve the other side is obvious: Defendants in a case need to know about any claims against them and must be notified of the day, time, and place that they can show up to defend themselves.

How do you serve papers that you can't find? ›

Preform Search
  1. Send a USPS mail to the person's last address.
  2. Search social media (networking) sites.
  3. Use online service that search for people.
  4. Contact the relatives or friends.
  5. Call”411″ ask for city where you think the person may live.
  6. Go to tax assessor's office or recorder's office and search property records.

What is the role of process server? ›

His main duty is to maintain the efficiency of the process-serving establishment and for this purpose he will submit reports and make suggestions from time to time to the Senior Sub-Judge or the Administrative Sub-Judge as the case may be.

What is the work of Dak peon? ›

Peon. Operating photocopy machine, printer etc, Distributing papers and maintenance of files within the office.

What is the salary of process server in Delhi district court? ›

5200-20,200/- with Grade Pay of Rs. 2400/- on regular basis. It is also clarified to all the officials working under the erstwhile establishment of Administrative Civil Judge, Delhi, they are also eligible to apply for the post of Process Server. Criteria for the post of Process Server.

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