Document Scanning Business

Document scanning business is a terrific option for you if you're interested in an up-and-coming green service for your customers. 

I believe this industry is just now in its infancy and as companies and individuals make the decision to de-clutter their lives, eliminate paper files, move towards green alternatives, and identify better electronic solutions for their documents and records needs.    

This is a terrific service to provide to your customers who are sick and tired of the paper clutter and really want to move forward and utilized electronic files.  

However, the majority of people don't have

  1. The time to scan old documents and get them organized within an electronic database, and/or
  2. Don't have the knowledge of the technology and software to make this happen.

With the new high-speed scanners, electronic software databases, "cloud" resources for housing information, tablets/smartphones, and environmental concerns; I see this industry being poised for growth and opportunities for starting your own document scanning business.

When you step in to help your clients with getting their documents scanned this helps in so many ways:

  • It's a green business alternative to printing and keeping paper.
  • This allows your customers to search for documents electronically with more efficiency than going to hard copy files which need to be searched one at a time.
  • Allows for greater efficiencies and productivity.
  • Saves money in printing costs.
  • Electronic alternatives dramatically alter the way your customers work with information.
Document Scanning Business

Most of us are pretty aware of the ease with finding information in electronic systems (that you help your client's set-up correctly!)  It is much easier to search for lost electronic files than it is to find documents stuck away in a box, in the garage or storage unit, that haven't been accessed in 2-3 years. 

While there may be a humorous component to searching in far away places, it's definitely not funny at the time when you're trying to find something you need NOW!  We've all been there . . .   LOL! 

If you're organized and love setting-up easy-to-use systems to help people find their different types of documents and information, then a document scanning business may be a great business for you consider starting today.  

. . . And you'll be doing something for the planet as you begin to educate your clients on printing less and using less toner/printer cartridges, and paper.  

N2 - Niche Notes

Niche Notes!!

Here are some ideas for developing a niche for your document scanning business:

1)   Provide document shredding for security after the documents have been scanned and electronically verified.

2)  Add Photo and Image Scanning - this will require different equipment to provide this service.

3.   Work with your clients to ensure their electronic scrapbooks and organized and saved securely where they can be found (show them the importance of "back-ups".  A friend of mine lost all of his vacation photos when one of the kids decided to format his hard drive -- years of family photos gone in a flash!  Ouch!!

4)  Add this service to your Virtual Assistant business.

5)   Work with your accounting clients to move their documents to cloud-based systems with appropriate security for financial records.  

Document Scanning Business -- What's It Take?


  • Document Organization Skills
  • Filing/Record Keeping
  • Database Collection Knowledge
  • Ability to Use A High-Speed Scanner & Software
  • "Cloud" Resources


You'll want to purchase a high-speed scanner which can handled hundreds of documents quickly and accurately along with the software required to handle the scanning/document organizing process for your clients.  Recommend cloud services for your clients or provide them with documents filed on flash drives or other media which they can upload to their own computers.  You will need an work area where documents can be locked-up and secured (as required by various laws).

Time Required:  Part-time 10 - 15 hours/week or work as much as 40 hours per week

Training:   You'll need to have an advanced understanding of document organization/filing; document retrieval, scanning software, and the technology associated with a document scanning service.   Some of this training may be found  on-line and others could be manufacturer supplied training depending upon your current skills.  You'll definitely have to be trustworthy and it may be helpful if you become bonded to help with your client's comfort level that they can trust you and your business. If you choose to work in the medical field, you'll be required to take training on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) which can be found locally and on-line.

Market:   Small businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to go paperless who don't have the time, medium-sized companies, and individuals 

Home Based:       Could Work From Your Home or Other Work Area

Internet:             No

Location:             Local

Start-Up Costs:    $500 - $2,500

Minimizing Start-Up Costs:  Since the technology is all fairly new -- older scanners used outdated technology, you may want to start your document scanning business off with a brand new scanner.   It will most likely pay for itself in the time and energy required by you (or your staff) to scan larger quantities of documents.

You'll want to get a high-quality scanner that will meet your needs and ability to grow your scanning business.  Depending on your business plan and goals, a high-capacity scanner may be right for you and possibly you can lease the hardware/software and pay over time.   Or if you have a business client who is wanting to get all of their documents scanned in a shorter period of time, possibly they will purchase the hardware/software for their future use.   You can provide the expertise and time to get the historical documents scanned and organized -- either into the cloud or on their business network.  For more information on starting a document scanning business . . .

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