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Starting an Ink Card Fingerprinting Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Unlock the potential of ink card fingerprinting. Learn benefits, challenges, and how NLSA aids success.


Entrepreneurs constantly seek unique opportunities to tap into new revenue streams in today’s ever-evolving business landscape. One such promising venture is starting an ink card fingerprinting business. While it may seem like a niche market, ink card fingerprinting offers several advantages for entrepreneurs looking to enter the industry. 

This comprehensive guide, created by the National Live Scan Association®, will dig into the key steps, challenges, and opportunities involved in establishing and growing an ink card fingerprinting business.

Understanding the Ink Card Fingerprinting Industry

Ink card fingerprinting involves capturing an individual’s fingerprints on a card using ink and then sending it to the relevant authorities for processing.  

Out-state agencies, employers, and organizations conducting background checks, licensing procedures, or legal documentation can request this ink fingerprint-capturing method.  

Despite being considered old school, ink card fingerprinting still holds significant value, as many states and federal agencies accept these prints for various purposes.

Benefits and Opportunities

1.  Lower Barrier to Entry: Unlike the more advanced and expensive Live Scan devices, starting an ink card fingerprinting business requires minimal upfront investment. By offering this service, entrepreneurs can gain valuable insights into the demand for Live Scan services in their target market and build a customer base before expanding into more sophisticated techniques.

2.  Profitability: Ink card fingerprinting can be a lucrative source of income, with some experts suggesting that it can pay double what Live Scan services do. While profitability depends on various factors like marketing efforts, branding, and pricing strategy, entrepreneurs can achieve a solid return on investment through diligent planning and execution.

3.  Industry Demand: Various sectors, including the healthcare and medical professions, require ink card fingerprinting for licensing and background checks. State agencies in these fields often accept fingerprints from out-of-state service providers, providing lucrative opportunities for entrepreneurs in ink card fingerprinting.

Getting Started

1.  Research and NLSA-Certification™: Familiarize yourself with your state’s regulations, licensing requirements, and industry standards for ink card fingerprinting. Consider joining industry organizations such as the National Live Scan Association® (NLSA), as they provide valuable resources, training, and networking opportunities.

2.  Training and Education: Invest in NLSA-Certified™ training programs to gain the advanced and necessary skills and knowledge to provide accurate and professional ink card fingerprinting services. Specialized training programs cover fingerprinting techniques, related laws, and best practices.

3.  Equipment and Supplies: Stock up on quality ink pads, FD258 fingerprint cards, and other necessary supplies. Ensure you have a suitable workspace with good lighting and proper ventilation to carry out the fingerprinting process efficiently and effectively.

Marketing and Business Development

1.  Define Your Target Market: Identify the key industries and organizations that require ink card fingerprinting services in your area. Fine-tune your marketing efforts to reach potential customers such as government agencies, licensing entities, law enforcement, schools, and healthcare providers.

2.  Build Your Brand: Create a professional and visually appealing brand identity that showcases your expertise and reliability. Create high-quality professional marketing materials such as a website, business cards, brochures, and social media profiles to establish your credibility in the industry.

3.  Networking and Partnerships: Attend relevant industry conferences and in-person and online networking events to meet potential clients and establish partnerships with local businesses, such as Travel Nurses, call centers service services multi, state insurance carries, or Foster and Adoption agencies, who can refer customers to your ink card fingerprinting services.

Challenges and Considerations

1.  Competitive Landscape: Conduct thorough market research to understand the competitive landscape in your area. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) and differentiate your ink card fingerprinting business by offering exceptional customer service, quick turnaround times, or competitive pricing.  Wait, let’s say “value-added” pricing!

2.  Regulatory Compliance: Stay updated with any changes in local, state, and federal regulations related to fingerprinting and background checks. Adhere to strict data privacy and confidentiality protocols to secure your customers’ information. Such agencies are the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

3.  Technological Advancements: While ink card fingerprinting remains relevant, keep an eye on technological advancements in the industry. Evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of integrating Live Scan technology into your business in the future.


Embarking on an ink card fingerprinting venture promises both rewards and profitability. Entrepreneurs can carve a successful path in this specialized industry by meticulously planning, delving deep into market research, obtaining essential certifications, and deploying effective marketing tactics.

Thorough preparation, a deep understanding of the industry, and unwavering dedication are your allies in navigating challenges and unlocking opportunities.

Ready to dive into the ink card fingerprinting realm and harness its vast potential? Kickstart your journey with confidence. Connect with the National Live Scan Association® today by scheduling a discovery call today at http://LiveScan.Chat