Should you consider opening your own court reporting agency?

When I was in court reporting school, I worked at a court reporting agency.  It was my dream during those school-bound years to one day open the doors of my own agency.  After working as a freelance reporter for a number of years, I finally realized that dream in 2003.  Now over 11 years later, I can honestly say it was the best professional decision of my life.  But is it right for you?

Today's archive question comes from user CSRSARAH:


Opening my own agency?

I've been freelancing as a court reporter for a while now and am starting to think about next steps for my career. Should I consider looking into opening my own court reporting agency?

After 952 views and 2 responses, the Best Answer with 21 votes comes from PATWORDSMYTHE


Congrats on thinking about the next steps in your career. If you've been freelancing as a court reporter for a while, then you probably have a strong sense of what it takes to run a business, manage taxes, maintain a schedule, and even partner with scopists and others who can help to make sure that you are accomplishing everything necessary. If you're thinking about running your own agency, it's a good idea to take a look at your relationships, to have a business strategy in mind, and to develop a better idea of what you hope to accomplish.


If you're interested in starting your own agency of court reporters, one of the first thing that you should look into is the small business association in your area and your state. If you know other court reporters - especially those who are just starting out who aren't interested in freelancing - it's a good idea to talk to them and to start to explore your options. Focus on building relationships, look into business regulations in your area, and then start working to expand your freelance work as a court reporter. Just be sure that you aren't just falling back on the reputation that you've built for yourself; it's important to keep growing and moving forward so that you can enhance that reputation and earn even more business.

Let's talk a little bit about that. I made that leap and I never regretted it. There are pros and cons with respect to that. the negative part of it is too many jobs to cover, not enough cash flow, having the responsibility for other reporters, not receiving adequate notice from secretaries with respect to jobs on calendar. There is a balance to all of this and when things are out of balance, it jerks your guts around.Now, with respect to the positive side. There is more money. Your clients treat you a little differently than the reporter just showing up for the job. You get to do things your way. You create relationships. The biggest plus to me is I created something. I watched it grow.I felt good about myself because I tried to be fair and honest in all aspects of doing business. I never set out to be a big reporting service. I just wanted to keep myself busy, and I ended up exceeding that. I am retired now, but I went into business after 10 years of being a deposition reporter and then an official reporter.For the next 30 years I did my own thing, and I have to say I loved it.Greg Adelson

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

  Comment by Bruce | Monday, April 8, 2019
Can you own a court reporting firm without being a court reporter yourself?

  Comment by Patti | Sunday, October 27, 2019
Can you own a court reporting firm without being a court reporter

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