How to Start a Fingerprinting Business

how to start a fingerprinting business

Fingerprinting is the process of obtaining an individual’s fingerprints for identification purposes. Fingerprinting businesses offer their services to a variety of organizations and individuals, including government agencies, employers, and individuals seeking background checks. Because of the importance of fingerprinting in today’s society, these businesses are becoming increasingly popular.

Fingerprinting is an important tool for verifying identity and detecting fraud. It is also used to protect the public by conducting criminal background checks for employment and licensing. In forensic investigations, fingerprinting is used to identify suspects and solve crimes. Fingerprinting is becoming more sophisticated, accurate, and reliable as technology advances, making it an even more valuable tool for businesses and individuals alike.

This blog post will teach you everything you need to know to start a fingerprinting business in the United States. We will go over market research, business planning, fingerprinting certification, the Livescan fingerprint machine, mobile fingerprinting business, and the steps required to get your fingerprinting business up and running. You will have a thorough understanding of how to start a successful fingerprinting business by the end of this blog post.

Starting a fingerprinting business – Step by Step Guide

Quick Facts

Industry trendGrowing
Investment range$10,000 – $50,000
Revenue potential (annual)$50,000 – $100,000
CommitmentFull-time or Part-time
Time to build3-6 months
Profit potential (annual)$30,000 – $60,000

Step 1: Conduct Market Research

The fingerprinting industry in the United States has grown steadily in recent years, owing to increased demand for background checks in a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, and law enforcement. The Fingerprint biometrics market revenue in 2022 was US$ 20.3 Billion. The market is expected to reach US$ 67.1 Billion by 2033, as it is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 11.6% for 2023 to 2033.

Mobile fingerprinting services have also grown in popularity, as they provide a more convenient and efficient way for customers to have their fingerprints taken. This trend is expected to continue, particularly in urban areas where busy professionals may be unable to visit a physical location for fingerprinting.

Step 2: Prepare business plan.

Creating a thorough business plan is critical for the success of any fingerprinting business. The following are the main components of a fingerprinting business plan:

Legal Requirements and Business Structure: You must choose a business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC). In order to operate your business, you will also need to obtain any necessary licenses and permits, such as a business license, state or local permits, and fingerprinting certification.

Services Provided: Determine the services that your fingerprinting company will provide. Electronic fingerprinting, ink fingerprinting, background checks, and identification services are examples of such services. Consider providing mobile fingerprinting services to your clients for added convenience.

Identify your target market, which could include government agencies, businesses, individuals, or specific industries. Consider your target market’s specific needs and preferences when designing your services and marketing strategies.

Marketing and Sales Strategy: Create a marketing and sales strategy for your fingerprinting company. This could include social media advertising, email marketing, local publications, and business networking. To attract new clients, you can also offer promotional deals and referral incentives.

Financial Projections: Make financial projections to estimate the costs of launching and operating your fingerprinting business. Equipment costs, rental or lease expenses, salaries, and marketing expenses are examples of such expenses. Create a pricing strategy to keep your company profitable while remaining competitive in the market. To ensure that your business is financially viable, consider your pricing strategy in conjunction with your financial projections.

Startup Stunners has been providing high-quality business plan writing services for years, and we’re ready to assist you in developing a comprehensive, effective plan that will propel your company forward. Our team of experts is committed to assisting you in achieving your business objectives and obtaining funding from banks, grants, or other sources. We’re here to help you succeed whether you’re a beginner, entrepreneur, or small business owner. Don’t put it off any longer; visit today and let us lead you to success!

Step 3: Cost and Funding Considerations

Startup Cost

The cost of starting a fingerprinting business varies depending on the location, services offered, and equipment required. Here are some examples of typical startup costs to consider:

1. Legal and regulatory fees: These include the costs of obtaining a business license, registering with the state, and obtaining fingerprinting certification. Legal fees may also be required to ensure that state and federal regulations are followed.

2. Equipment Costs: Depending on the type of fingerprinting services provided, equipment costs can vary significantly. A Livescan machine, which can cost $10,000 to $20,000 or more, is required for electronic fingerprinting. Ink pads, fingerprint cards, computers, and software may also be required.

3. Office Space and Rent: For storing equipment and providing fingerprinting services, a physical office space may be required. The rent will be determined by the location and size of the space.

4. Marketing and Advertising: Depending on the marketing strategy, marketing and advertising costs will vary. This may include the creation of a website, business cards, brochures, and online advertising.

Potential Funding Sources

Several funding sources are available to assist with the startup costs of a fingerprinting business:

1. Personal savings: Using personal savings to fund a small business startup is a common method. It provides complete control over the business and prevents debt accumulation.

2. Small Business Loans: Banks, credit unions, and the Small Business Administration can all provide small business loans (SBA). Typically, these loans have lower interest rates and longer repayment terms.

3. Grants: Small businesses can apply for a variety of government and private grants. However, these grants can be competitive and require a significant amount of time and effort to apply for.

4. Investors: In exchange for equity or ownership in the company, investors can provide funding for a fingerprinting business. This option is risky because it involves selling a portion of the company to a third party.

5. Crowdfunding is a relatively new funding option that allows for capital to be raised through small contributions from a large number of people. This is possible via online platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Step 4: Certification of Fingerprinting

Starting and running a fingerprinting business requires fingerprinting certification. Certification guarantees that the company follows industry standards and best practices, as well as legal and regulatory requirements.

For fingerprinting professionals, there are several types of certification available, including:

1. Certified Fingerprint Examiner (CFE): The International Association for Identification (IAI) offers the CFE certification, which is intended for individuals working in forensic science, law enforcement, or security. This certification requires at least two years of fingerprint examination experience as well as passing a written and practical examination.

2. Certified Latent Print Examiner (CLPE): The IAI also offers the CLPE certification, which is designed for individuals who specialize in latent print examination. This certification requires at least five years of experience in latent print examination as well as passing a written and practical exam.

3. Fingerprint Certification: Fingerprint certification is required for individuals who want to provide fingerprinting services to the public and is provided by various state and local agencies. This certification’s requirements vary by state, but typically include completing a training program and passing a written examination.

Step 5: Obtaining licenses and permits

Depending on state and local regulations, you may need to obtain certain licenses and permits to start a fingerprinting business in the United States. The requirements will differ depending on whether you intend to run a mobile or fixed location business.

Here are some examples of common licenses and permits:

1. Business License: Your state or local government may require a general business license to operate a fingerprinting business.

2. Fingerprinting License: Some states may require you to obtain a license in order to provide fingerprinting services.

3. Professional License: A professional license may be required if you intend to provide professional services such as notary public or private investigator services.

4. Tax Registration: You must register for federal, state, and local taxes like income tax, sales tax, and employment tax.

5. Zoning Permit: If you intend to operate your business from a fixed location, you may need a zoning permit.

Before starting your fingerprinting business, it is critical to research the specific requirements in your state and local area and obtain all necessary licenses and permits. Inability to obtain

Step 6: Arranging Insurance

When starting a fingerprinting business, insurance is an important consideration because it can help protect your company from financial losses caused by unexpected events or accidents.

Here are some insurance options to consider for your fingerprinting business:

1. General Liability Insurance: This type of insurance protects your company from third-party claims for property damage, bodily injury, and other damages.

2. Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, this type of insurance can protect your company from claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in the provision of fingerprinting services.

3. Cyber Liability Insurance: This type of insurance can protect your company from data breaches or other cyber-attacks that could lead to the loss of sensitive customer information.

4. Business Property Insurance: This type of insurance can protect your company’s property from damage or loss as a result of theft, fire, or other covered events.

5. Workers’ Compensation Insurance: If you employ people, you may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.

Fingerprint Machine for Livescan

Fingerprinting machines capture and digitize fingerprints for use in identification. Ink and roll fingerprinting machines, optical scanners, and Livescan machines are among the various types of fingerprinting machines available.

Livescan machines are the industry’s most advanced and widely used fingerprinting machines. They are electronic machines that use a scanner to capture and digitize fingerprints. Livescan fingerprinting machines are preferred over ink and roll fingerprinting machines because they provide a more accurate and detailed image of the fingerprint, making identification easier.

There are various types of Livescan machines available, such as:

1. Single-Platen Livescan Machines: The most basic type of Livescan machine is the single-platen Livescan machine. They have a single scanning surface and provide basic fingerprinting services.

2. Multiple-Platen Livescan Machines: These machines have multiple scanning surfaces and can capture multiple sets of fingerprints at the same time. As a result, they are ideal for high-volume fingerprinting services.

3. Portable Livescan Machines: Portable Livescan machines are designed for mobile fingerprinting services and are lightweight. They are easily transportable and are ideal for fingerprinting services at events or in remote locations.

The price of a Livescan machine varies depending on the brand, model, and features. A Livescan machine can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $15,000 or more. There may also be ongoing machine maintenance fees, such as software updates, calibration, and repairs. These fees can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per year, depending on the manufacturer.

Despite the initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs, owning a Livescan machine can provide several advantages to a fingerprinting business, including:

1. Increased Accuracy: Livescan machines produce a more accurate and detailed image of the fingerprint, making identification easier. This reduces the possibility of errors and ensures that the fingerprinting process is carried out correctly.

2. Saves time: Because livescan machines are faster than ink and roll fingerprinting machines, businesses can process more fingerprinting services in less time. This can increase business efficiency and reduce customer wait times.

3. Increased Revenue: Having a Livescan machine allows a fingerprinting company to provide more services and generate more revenue. Some Livescan machines, for example, can capture fingerprints for FBI background checks or other government agency requirements, which can increase the company’s revenue.

4. Increased Professionalism: Having a Livescan machine can help a fingerprinting business become more professional. It demonstrates that the company is committed to providing accurate and dependable services and is willing to invest in cutting-edge technology to achieve that goal.

Mobile fingerprinting business

Advantages and disadvantages of a mobile fingerprinting business:


1. Convenience: One of the most significant benefits of a mobile fingerprinting business is the convenience it offers. Customers can have their fingerprints taken in the privacy of their own home or office, eliminating the need to travel to a physical location.

2. Flexibility: Because they can work around the customer’s schedule, mobile fingerprinting businesses provide greater scheduling flexibility.

3. Economical: A mobile fingerprinting business can save money on rent and other overhead costs associated with a physical location.

4. Increased Demand: Mobile fingerprinting services are in high demand, particularly in rural or remote areas where access to traditional fingerprinting services may be limited.


1. Limited Coverage Area: A mobile fingerprinting business’s coverage area is limited because it may not be able to travel long distances to serve customers.

2. Equipment Limitations: Mobile fingerprinting equipment may be less advanced or reliable than equipment in a physical location, which can have an impact on the quality of the fingerprints taken.

3. Safety Concerns: When traveling to unfamiliar locations, mobile fingerprinting businesses may face safety concerns.


In conclusion, starting a fingerprinting business in the US market can be a profitable and rewarding venture. Before embarking on this journey, it is important to conduct extensive research on the industry and local regulations.

It is critical for success to create a comprehensive business plan that includes all necessary licenses and permits, equipment, and financial projections. It is also necessary to obtain certification and training for yourself and your staff in order to provide high-quality services and build a strong reputation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a fingerprinting business?

Fingerprinting business provides fingerprinting services for a variety of purposes, including employment background checks, criminal history checks, and security clearances.

What are the main services provided by a fingerprinting business?

Fingerprinting business’s primary services include fingerprinting for background checks, criminal history checks, and other security purposes.

Do I need to be certified in order to start a fingerprinting business?

While certification is not always required to start a fingerprinting business, it can boost your credibility and give you a competitive advantage in the industry.

What is the cost of starting a fingerprinting business?

The cost of starting a fingerprinting business varies depending on factors such as equipment costs, location, and licensing fees. However, an approximate range of startup costs is $10,000 to $50,000.

What equipment is required for a fingerprinting business?

Livescan fingerprint machine, fingerprinting cards, ink pads, and other supplies for fingerprinting and recordkeeping are required for a fingerprinting business.

What exactly is a mobile fingerprinting company?

A mobile fingerprinting business is one that provides fingerprinting services on the go, traveling to different locations to serve customers.

Is insurance required for my fingerprinting business?

Yes, insurance is recommended for a fingerprinting business in order to protect against potential financial losses caused by accidents, data breaches, or other unforeseeable events.

Do I need any licenses or permits to start a fingerprinting business?

Depending on the state and local regulations, the licenses and permits needed to start a fingerprinting business may differ. A general business license, fingerprinting license, professional license, tax registration, and zoning permit are examples of common licenses and permits. It is critical to research local requirements and obtain all necessary licenses and permits.


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