How Does Taking Over a Notarial Practice Work?

More and more notaries are ready to pass the torch on to a new generation. For a young notary, there are benefits to taking over a notarial practice, but only if the process is not rushed.

For the seller and the buyer, the process must be rigorous. It is advisable to have a planner or intermediary who will accompany both parties. “It’s a moment which can be emotional for the seller who is attached to his clients, because we are present in people’s lives from the beginning to the end, so it is necessary to have a neutral person in the transfer process,” says Benoît Rivet, a notary who has been a buyer and a seller of notaries’ offices. The transaction is also subject to the regulation relating to the assignment of records.

The benefits of buying notarial records
According to Benoît Rivet, it’s a good way to start in the profession. “Building your clientele takes years, while taking over a notary’s records can accelerate this step,” he says. And while the financial impact of such a purchase is too heavy for a single person, some of the terms can be negotiated with the seller – such as payment by future profits – or partnering with colleagues. In this regard, a good financial advisor will allow for an agreement that is favourable to both parties while undertaking the difficult assessment of the records’ value.

“The purchaser benefits not only from the clientele itself, but also from the quality of the relationship built up by his predecessor over many years. It is not uncommon to have clientele from all members of a single family, from grandparents to grandchildren,” he says. That’s why reassuring all these people who have entrusted their “secrets” to their notary takes time and attention to detail during the assignment of the records.

Despite these precautions, there may be some departures by clients, since the chemistry does not operate the same way for everyone. However, new blood can propel the business further. A young professional can then develop a new clientele while being assured of a certain income stability thanks to his predecessor’s files.

It takes at least a year of preparation, ideally two, to transfer this particular business that is a notary’s firm.
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