Skip to Content

How to Start a Fingerprinting Business

A fingerprinting business refers to a company or service that specializes in fingerprinting individuals for various purposes.

Fingerprinting is a method of identification that relies on the unique patterns found on an individual’s fingertips. These patterns are often used for security, background checks, and other identification purposes.

The fingerprinting process typically involves capturing an individual’s fingerprints using specialized equipment, and this data is then used for various identification purposes. The goal is to create a unique and reliable identifier based on the distinct patterns present in an individual’s fingerprints.

Available data shows that the global fingerprint sensor market is valued at USD 3.31 billion in the year 2022 and is projected to reach a value of USD 7.35 billion by the year 2030.

Steps on How to Start a Fingerprinting Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research for a fingerprinting business involves gathering and analyzing information to understand the demand, competition, and potential customer base in your target market.

First, you need to clearly outline the goals of your market research. Identify what specific information you need to make informed business decisions.

For example, you may want to understand the demand for fingerprinting services, your target audience, and the competitive landscape.

Next, you need to define the geographical area and demographic characteristics of the market you intend to serve. Consider factors such as age, occupation, industry, and regulatory requirements that may influence the demand for fingerprinting services.

Research existing fingerprinting businesses in your target market. Identify their strengths, weaknesses, pricing strategies, and the range of services they offer.

This analysis can help you position your business effectively and identify any gaps in the market. Gather insights into the needs and preferences of potential customers.

Conduct surveys, interviews, or focus groups to understand what features, pricing models, or additional services are important to them when choosing a fingerprinting service.

a. Who is the Target Market for the Fingerprinting Business?
  • Businesses and corporations that require pre-employment background checks.
  • Human resources departments seeking fingerprinting services for screening potential hires.
  • Law enforcement agencies conducting criminal background checks.
  • Immigration and visa processing agencies verifying the identity of individuals.
  • Professionals in fields requiring licensing or certification (e.g., healthcare, finance, legal) where fingerprinting may be part of the licensing process.
  • Companies or organizations implementing fingerprint-based access control systems for physical or digital security.
  • Individuals seeking fingerprinting for personal reasons, such as obtaining a police clearance certificate or fulfilling a specific legal requirement.
  • Companies requiring fingerprinting services for employee identification cards or access control within their facilities.
  • Firms conducting private investigations that require fingerprinting services for identification purposes.
  • Schools, colleges, or universities conducting background checks on employees or students.
b. Is Fingerprinting Business a Profitable Business?

Yes, the fingerprinting business is profitable all things being equal. The market size of the global fingerprint sensor market is valued at USD 3.31 billion in the year 2022 and is projected to reach a value of USD 7.35 billion by the year 2030.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no niche ideas when it comes to fingerprinting business.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • Identogo
  • MorphoTrust USA
  • Fieldprint
  • Accurate Biometrics
  • Gemalto
  • Biometric Impressions Corp
  • Identillect Technologies Corp
  • Integrated Biometric Technology
  • Secure Outcomes Inc
  • Biometric Information Management
  • Certifix Live Scan
  • Crossmatch Technologies
  • Live Scan Labs
  • M2SYS Technology
  • Fingerprint Innovations
  • IndentoGO by IDEMIA
  • Forensic Identification Services
  • Patriot Livescan
  • Mobile Outfitters
  • Secure Outcomes Inc.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Fingerprinting Business?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for fingerprinting businesses in the United States. Regulations and zoning laws for a fingerprinting business in the United States can vary significantly depending on the state, county, and local jurisdiction.

It is important to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements in the area where you plan to operate. Zoning laws dictate where certain types of businesses can operate within a given area.

Check with the local zoning office to ensure that your chosen business location complies with zoning regulations for the intended commercial use.

Given the nature of fingerprinting services, there may be additional background check requirements for individuals involved in running the business.

Fingerprinting businesses often deal with sensitive personal information. Ensure compliance with federal and state privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other relevant data protection regulations.

Depending on the equipment and processes involved in fingerprinting, there may be health and safety regulations to consider. Familiarize yourself with any occupational safety and health standards that may apply to your business.

f. Is There a Franchise for Fingerprinting Business?

No, there are no franchise opportunities for fingerprinting business.

g. What Do You Need to Start a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Business Plan
  • Legal Structure
  • Licensing and Permits
  • Location
  • Fingerprinting Equipment
  • Software and Database System
  • Privacy and Security Policies
  • Trained Staff
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Marketing and Branding
  • Client Agreements and Consent Forms
  • Financial Management System.
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with.

It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable. Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a fingerprinting business are;

Creative Fingerprinting Business Name ideas
  • Pro Secure® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Top Profile® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Cera Gordon™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Secure Base® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Finger Spot® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Larry Andrew® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Open Zip® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Timmothy Halley® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Secure Plus® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Calvin Jarome® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Rocus Pocus® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Security Frontal® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Secure Plus® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Back Page® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Front End® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • The Eagle® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  • Joel Stevenson® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • Kelvin George® Fingerprinting Company, LLC
  • McQueen Philips® Fingerprinting Company, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Fingerprinting Business?

The best type of business structure for a fingerprinting business depends on several factors, including the size of the business, the number of owners, and the level of personal liability exposure the owners are willing to accept.

However, we usually recommend a limited liability company (LLC) for fingerprinting business. An LLC is a popular choice for small businesses because it offers personal liability protection for the owners while allowing them to be taxed as a pass-through entity.

This means that the profits and losses of the business are passed through to the owners’ tax returns, avoiding double taxation.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Business License
  • State Fingerprinting License
  • Federal Fingerprinting License
  • Professional License (if required by the state)
  • Occupational or Business Tax License
  • Health Department Permit
  • Zoning Permit
  • Background Check Authorization (for business owners and employees)
  • Data Protection Compliance (depending on the nature of services)
  • Electronic Fingerprinting System Approval (if applicable)
  • State Security Agency License (if offering security-related services)
  • Compliance with Federal and State Privacy Laws.
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Fingerprinting Business?
  • FBI Channeler Certification:
  • Live Scan Certification
  • Biometric Information Management Certification
  • State-specific Certification.
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Business Plan
  • Business License Application
  • State Fingerprinting License Application
  • Federal Fingerprinting License Application
  • Certificate of Incorporation (if applicable)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Lease Agreement or Proof of Business Location
  • Zoning Compliance Documentation
  • Health Department Permit (if required)
  • Equipment Purchase or Lease Agreements
  • Privacy and Security Policies
  • Staff Training Certificates
  • Insurance Policies
  • Client Agreements and Consent Forms
  • Financial Statements.
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

A fingerprinting business may require a trademark, copyright, or patent depending on the specific aspects of the business.

A fingerprinting business may want to trademark its name, logo, or slogan to prevent others from using similar names or logos, which could confuse the market. Additionally, a trademark can help to establish brand recognition and loyalty.

A fingerprinting business may want to copyright its training materials, instructional videos, or software used for data analysis.

While a fingerprinting business may not necessarily have a patentable invention, it is possible that a unique testing method or technology could be patented to prevent others from using or selling the same method or technology.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Fingerprinting Business?

When it comes to starting a fingerprinting business, the startup costs vary, and it could range from as low as $350,000 to over $1 million. This is so because the startup inventory for a fingerprinting business is on the high side.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Fingerprinting Business
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $6,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $2,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $2,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including, commercial satellite TV subscriptions, stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $150,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Equipment and supplies – $250,000
  • Website: $700
  • Opening party: $6,000
  • Miscellaneous: $5,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Fingerprinting Business?
  • The size of the fingerprinting business
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the fingerprinting business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the fingerprinting business
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms for your employees.
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

Yes, a fingerprinting business typically requires a facility to conduct the testing. The cost of building a facility will vary based on several factors, including the size of the facility, the location, the cost of materials and labor, and any necessary permits or licenses.

Please note that a fingerprinting business may choose to rent or lease a facility to operate from as long as it falls within the zonal arrangement for such business.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Employee Salaries
  • Rent or Lease Payments
  • Fingerprinting Equipment Maintenance
  • Software Subscription Fees
  • Utilities (Electricity, Water, Internet)
  • Insurance Premiums (Liability, Property, etc.)
  • Marketing and Advertising Costs
  • Regulatory Compliance Fees
  • Professional Fees (Legal, Accounting)
  • Supplies (Fingerprinting Cards, Ink, etc.)
f. What is the Average Salary of Your Staff?
  • Business Owner/Manager: $80,000 per year
  • Fingerprinting Technicians: $50,000 per year
  • Compliance Officer: $45,000 per year
  • Marketing Specialist: $40,000 per year
  • Administrative Assistant: $40,000 per year
  • IT Support Specialist: $45,000 per year
  • Customer Service Representative: $35,000 per year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc. is a cutting-edge fingerprinting service provider located in Olympia, Washington.

Our company is dedicated to delivering secure, efficient, and reliable fingerprinting solutions to individuals and businesses in need of identity verification, background checks, and related services.

Our centrally located facility in Olympia, Washington, is equipped with state-of-the-art fingerprinting technology and staffed by highly trained professionals. We are committed to creating a welcoming and secure environment for our clients.

Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc. serves a diverse clientele, including individuals, businesses, government agencies, and organizations requiring fingerprinting services for various purposes. We cater to the needs of both residents and clients across the wider Washington state region.

b. Products and Service
  • Electronic Fingerprinting
  • Live Scan Services
  • Background Checks
  • Child and Elderly Safety Identification
  • Event Security Identification.
c. Mission Statement

At Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc., our mission is to provide unparalleled fingerprinting services, leveraging advanced technology and a commitment to excellence.

We strive to contribute to the safety and security of our community by offering accurate and timely identification solutions.

Vision Statement:

Looking ahead, Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc. envisions expanding our footprint by exploring additional service niches and embracing advancements in biometric technology. We aspire to become a recognized name synonymous with reliability and integrity in the fingerprinting industry.

d. Goals and Objectives

At Johnson Williams™ Fingerprinting Company, Inc. in Olympia, Washington, our primary goal is to provide state-of-the-art and secure fingerprinting services to diverse clients, ranging from individuals to government agencies.

We aim to establish ourselves as a trusted leader in the industry by prioritizing accuracy, compliance, and client satisfaction.

Through strategic growth, community engagement, and ongoing technological advancements, we aspire to be the go-to fingerprinting solution, contributing to the safety and security of our community and beyond.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Business Owner/Manager
  • Fingerprinting Technicians
  • Compliance Officer
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Administrative Assistant
  • IT Support Specialist
  • Customer Service Representative.

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Cutting-edge Technology: Utilization of advanced fingerprinting technology for accurate and efficient services.
  • Compliance Focus: Strong commitment to regulatory compliance, ensuring legal and ethical operations.
  • Experienced Staff: Highly trained and skilled fingerprinting technicians and dedicated professionals.
  • Central Location: Strategically positioned facility in Olympia, Washington, accessible to a diverse clientele.
Weakness:
  • Limited Brand Recognition: As a new entrant, may face challenges in establishing brand awareness.
  • Initial Capital Investment: High upfront costs for technology and facility setup.
  • Dependency on Technology: Vulnerability to technical issues and evolving industry standards.
Opportunities:
  • Emerging Markets: Growing demand for fingerprinting services in various industries, creating new business opportunities.
  • Service Diversification: Potential to expand service offerings to cater to niche markets and emerging trends.
  • Partnerships: Collaboration with government agencies, businesses, and organizations for exclusive contracts.
  • Technological Advancements: Opportunities to adopt and integrate new biometric technologies for enhanced services.
Threat:
  • Regulatory Changes: Potential shifts in fingerprinting regulations or licensing requirements.
  • Intense Competition: Competition from established fingerprinting services in the region.
  • Economic Downturn: Sensitivity to economic fluctuations affecting demand for non-essential services.
  • Cybersecurity Risks: Risks associated with the protection of sensitive biometric data from cybersecurity threats.
b. How Do Fingerprinting Businesses Make Money?

Fingerprinting businesses generate revenue by providing fingerprinting services for various purposes, including background checks, identification, and security clearances. Clients, such as individuals, businesses, and government agencies, pay fees for fingerprinting sessions.

The business may also offer additional services, such as electronic fingerprinting, background checks, or specialized identification packages, contributing to diversified income streams.

The efficiency, accuracy, and compliance of these services contribute to customer satisfaction and sustained profitability in the competitive market.

c. Payment Options
  • Cash
  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Mobile Payment Apps (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay)
  • Contactless Payment (e.g., NFC-enabled cards)
  • Digital Wallets (e.g., PayPal, Venmo)
  • QR Code Payments.
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Offer a referral program to encourage current clients to refer new clients to the business.
  • Use social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, to showcase the business and its services.
  • Promote special offers and events and engage with followers to build a loyal following.
  • Offer special promotions, such as discounted services or product bundles, to attract new clients and encourage repeat business.
  • Partner with other businesses, such as local security agencies, law courts, real estate agencies, schools, and key stakeholders, to offer joint promotions and reach new audiences.
  • Use email marketing to keep clients informed about special offers, new products or services, and upcoming events.
  • Display promotional materials in the lab, such as posters or flyers, to inform clients about special offers or events.
  • Use targeted online advertising, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to reach potential clients and drive traffic to the website or store.
  • Host events, such as security workshops or product launch parties, to provide clients with a unique experience and promote the business.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?
Standard Fingerprinting Session:
  • Fee for a basic fingerprinting session, often required for employment or licensing purposes.
Live Scan Electronic Fingerprinting:
  • Electronic fingerprinting services usually have a separate fee, as this technology allows for faster and more efficient processing.
Background Check Services:
  • Additional charges for conducting background checks, which may include criminal history, employment verification, or other checks.
Child or Elderly Identification Packages:
  • Specialized packages for child or elderly safety identification, including fingerprinting and related services.
Expedited Services:
  • Some businesses offer expedited or rush services for clients who require faster processing.
Mobile Fingerprinting:
  • Additional fees for providing on-site or mobile fingerprinting services, and catering to clients at their location.
Notary Services:
  • Some fingerprinting businesses may offer notary services, often with an additional fee.
Specialized Industry Packages:
  • Customized packages for specific industries, such as healthcare or finance, which may have additional requirements.
Government or Corporate Contracts:
  • Businesses may secure contracts with government agencies or corporations, with a pricing structure based on the terms of the contract.
Bulk or Group Discounts:
  • Discounts for bulk fingerprinting sessions or group bookings are common for businesses conducting employee screenings.
b. How Much Profit Do Fingerprinting Business Owners Make a Year?

The annual profit of fingerprinting business owners in the U.S. can vary based on factors like location, services offered, and client volume.

On average, small-scale businesses may generate a profit of $50,000 to $100,000, while larger operations with diversified services and contracts can exceed $200,000.

Please note that the profitability hinges on efficient operations, competitive pricing, and market demand, with potential for growth through technology adoption and strategic partnerships.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The type of services and the capacity of the fingerprinting
  • The location of the fingerprinting business
  • The management style of the fingerprinting business
  • The business approach of the fingerprinting business
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the fingerprinting business.
  • The number of years the fingerprinting business is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Fingerprinting Business?

According to industry reports, the average profit margin for fingerprinting can range from 10% to 20%, with some businesses reporting higher margins during periods of high demand.

However, it is important to note that profit margins can be affected by several factors, such as changes in regulations, competition, and fluctuations in demand for fingerprinting testing.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a fingerprinting business. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States.

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $650,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $900,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1.3 million
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Fingerprinting Business?
  • Choose a location easily accessible to your target market, ensuring convenience for individuals, businesses, and government agencies requiring fingerprinting services.
  • If a significant portion of your clientele includes government agencies, consider a location near government offices, licensing agencies, or law enforcement facilities.
  • Prioritize a secure and safe environment, aligning with the nature of fingerprinting services and client expectations.
  • Choose a location with good visibility and the potential for prominent signage to increase awareness and attract walk-in customers.
  • Ensure the chosen location complies with local zoning laws and regulations governing fingerprinting services.
  • Provide ample parking space or proximity to parking facilities to enhance convenience for clients during their visit.
  • Analyze the demographics of the area to determine if it aligns with your target market, considering factors like population density, business presence, and community needs.
b. What State and City is Best to Open a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Los Angeles, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Miami, Florida
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • San Francisco, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • San Diego, California
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Washington, D.C.
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Electronic fingerprinting scanners or Live Scan devices for capturing digital fingerprints.
  • Desktop or laptop computers equipped with the necessary software for processing fingerprint data.
  • Traditional fingerprinting cards and high-quality ink pads
  • Database Management System
  • Privacy screens or barriers
  • Facility Furniture
  • Security cameras
  • General office supplies such as paper, pens, and filing cabinets for administrative tasks.
  • Label Printers
  • Internet Connectivity
  • Backup systems and data storage
  • Client Management System
  • Biometric Data Security Tools.
  1. Hire Employees

Hiring employees for a new fingerprinting business is crucial for efficient operations. Trained and professional staff ensure accurate fingerprinting, maintaining the integrity of the services offered.

Look for individuals with strong attention to detail, integrity, and reliability to uphold the security and confidentiality of client information.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

Organizing an opening party for a new fingerprinting business can be a good way to introduce your business to the community and create awareness about your services. However, whether or not to have an opening party is ultimately a decision that depends on your business and goals.

Suppose you want to organize a proper launch for your fingerprinting business, you must make sure to invite real estate companies, court officials, security agencies, corporate organizations, H.R. professionals, schools, and other members of the community who may be interested in your services.

a. What Makes a Fingerprinting Business Successful?
  • Successful fingerprinting businesses prioritize accuracy and efficiency in capturing and processing fingerprints, meeting client expectations and regulatory standards.
  • Embracing and investing in the latest fingerprinting technology enhances services, improves processing times, and contributes to overall client satisfaction.
  • Adherence to legal and regulatory standards, including data privacy and security measures, instills trust and credibility, crucial for success in the fingerprinting industry.
  • Providing exceptional customer service, including clear communication, responsiveness, and a client-centric approach, fosters positive relationships and encourages repeat business.
  • Effective marketing strategies, such as targeted advertising, online presence, and community engagement, help raise awareness and attract a steady stream of clients.
  • Employing qualified and trained staff ensures proficient fingerprinting services, contributes to the business’s reputation, and builds trust with clients.
  • Successful businesses often diversify their services to cater to a broader range of clients and industry needs, adapting to emerging trends in fingerprinting technology and applications.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Fingerprinting Business?

In a typical day at a fingerprinting business, trained technicians efficiently capture fingerprints using advanced technology, ensuring accuracy and compliance with industry standards.

Clients schedule appointments or walk in, presenting valid identification for verification. The technicians guide clients through the fingerprinting process, providing necessary instructions and maintaining a secure and confidential environment.

Administrative tasks, such as record-keeping and appointment scheduling, are managed to streamline operations. The business may also offer additional services, such as background checks or specialized identification packages.

c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Fingerprinting Business?
  • Understanding the fingerprinting industry, including regulations, compliance standards, and technological advancements.
  • Familiarity with fingerprinting equipment and technologies, as well as the ability to adapt to new advancements.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal regulations related to fingerprinting services, ensuring compliance and legal adherence.
  • Competence in business management, including organizational skills, financial management, and strategic planning.
  • Strong customer service skills to interact effectively with diverse clients
  • Exceptional attention to detail is crucial to ensure accurate fingerprinting
  • Understanding and prioritizing security measures to protect sensitive biometric data
  • Skills in marketing and promotion to raise awareness, attract clients, and establish a competitive presence in the market.
  • If managing a team, leadership and staff management skills are essential
  • The ability to adapt to technological advancements and innovate within the fingerprinting industry to stay competitive and meet evolving client needs.