How to Start a Proofreading Business

Introduction to how to start a proofreading business

If you’re great at editing and catching grammatical mistakes and inconsistencies, a work-from-home Proofreading job could also be an excellent fit for you. Particularly for online businesses, Proofreaders are in high demand. And you can proofread from practically any location, it’s a great option for making money from home. In many cases, proofreaders can even set their hours and work at their own pace.

A step-by-step guide to starting a proofreading business

A proofreader reviews the written word in its various forms for clients and corrects for spelling, punctuation, and typos. To start a proofreading business, you must have a strong command of language usage, spelling, and punctuation. Depending on your clientele, you might be reviewing and correcting the language used in books, magazine articles, web content, ads, packaging, student assignments, or virtually any other vehicle of written communication.

In this article, we will let you know how to start a Proofreading business, and the costs involved in the Proofreading business, and the pros and cons of a business and challenges you need to face and some other information about this business.

Before you get too excited though, there is a lot more to Proofreading that being good at spotting errors! There’s also a lot of work that goes into starting a Proofreading business.

Below are the 10 things that you need to follow while jumping into the pool of Proofreading business:

  1. Be realistic about the time of delivery
  2. Be an effective marketer! Make your business visible.
  3. Don’t accept the project if you think it can’t be done by you.
  4. Get the right tools for your home office that will help you to get the job done with perfection.
  5. Act like a professional and not like a beginner.
  6. As a beginner, you should focus on your specialties.
  7. Ensure that the things you post on your social media accounts reflect your business.
  8. Understand your client’s expectations. First, understand the requirements and then work on these.
  9. Once you’re aware of who your customers are and what are their expectations then target the pitch points. Present yourself in a manner that you’re the right person who can get this job done without any difficulty.
  10. Build a strong network. With the right expertise, you are very near to success and getting work.

How to start a proofreading business

If you have been thinking of how to become a Proofreader, and you’re not sure where to start, then here is a breakdown of the first steps you need to take to set up a Proofreading business.

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How to start a proofreading business.
How to start a proofreading business.
Step 1: Write a business plan

Before you set up your business, it’s a good idea to write up a business plan. This is a critical first step as it will help you to clarify what you need to focus on to be successful.

For an entrepreneur’s success, a clear plan is a must. You must have a crisp and clear plan before you start your Proofreading business, it will not only take off the covers of the unknown but also it will get a lot easier for you to map out the specifics of your business. Some of the key factors that you should consider are:

  • What will be the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who should be your targeted market?
  • What should be the right name for your business?
Step 2: Evaluate your financial situation

You need to make sure that you have the funds to start your Proofreading business. You will need to support yourself for some time, purchase professional tools, and pay salaries if you want to hire more employees to work for you.

So, be realistic when it comes to your financial state and calculate all the possible outcomes before even starting.

Step 3: Analyze your target audience

It is important to have a clear customer’s portrait from the start. It is a huge help both to your marketing strategies and customer satisfaction.

Know who you are aiming to reach out to and adapt your strategies exactly to their needs. For instance, students might need an additional plagiarism checker and if you offer this service for free, they will be very grateful. Your success is only one market research away.

We can never assure that everything will run smoothly forever. If anytime, your Proofreading business gets sued then establishing a legal business entity such as LLC prevents you from being personally liable. However, you can seek help from a registered agent for protecting your privacy. 

Step 5: Open a business bank account & credit card

For personal asset protection, it is crucial to have a business bank account and a credit card. Your personal and business life should not mix up because your business gets sued due to some reason, then your account has to bear all the problems. So, it is always better to keep both of these separate.

Open a business bank account

This separates your personal life from your company’s life, which is necessary for personal asset protection. It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card will also help you to separate your business and personal expenses. Also, you can build your company’s credit history with it and this can help you in the future for raising investments. Not only this, but tax filing and accounting gets a lot easier with it.

Step 6: Tax registration

When you open a business, it gets essential for you to register your Proofreading business for numerous state and federal taxes. And for that, you just need to apply for Employer Identification Number (EIN). They won’t charge you any fee, it is free. Through an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) website, you can easily get your EIN. You can get it via email or fax. Every business owner must have it to avoid any problems. However, you will need to provide your business information, the date when it is formed, and the name of your business when you will be obtaining your nine-digit EIN.

Step 7: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

If you don’t have the necessary licenses and permits for Proofreading business, and any problem occurs then it can cause you great fines or even it can cause your business to end.

State & local business licensing requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a bead store business. For more information about local licenses and permits check with your town, city or county clerk’s office

Step 8: Get business insurance

Something that every business owner should have is business insurance. If you hire employees then insurance may be a legal necessity in your state. So, make sure to have it!

For different types of businesses, there are several types of insurance policies created with different risks. If you are not sure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. For every small business, this is the most common coverage, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Step 9: Let your brand speak for itself

It’s your brand that speaks for you! A strong presence will help you to stand ahead of the competitors.

There is nothing wrong with saying that your online presence is surely something that decides whether you’re going to win the game or lose it completely.

Your website should be flawless, it should be written with perfection, the social media posts should be error-free, and it should be well-developed and designed. Make sure to give your website a look that is inviting and professional. If you succeed at this, your business is sure to achieve a rocket-boom in its success

Step 10: Have a set of essential tools to use

Before you launch your business or start your first marketing campaign, you need to ensure that you have all the necessary tools you need to run the business. Thus, you might want to buy some grammar checkers to save your time or your domain to run the business on. All this has to be established and tuned up before the first clients fly in, as managing organizational things on the go is not easy if you are a newbie to this area.

Step 11: Set up social media accounts

Unfortunately, having a website alone won’t have clients knocking on your door to work with you. It can be incredibly difficult to be found on search engines. You need a way to drive customers to your website, where they can then read all about how you can help them.

Your web presence is critical. Having a presence on social media will help to attract potential clients and drive them to your website. You can find plenty of online sources for free websites, and you can probably write your copy yourself to save money. The social media platforms you need to focus on to promote your Proofreading business are Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Step 12: Networking

Networking should be part of your overall marketing strategy. As well as networking with potential clients it can also be beneficial to network with other editors. Here are some benefits of networking with other Proofreaders:

  • Allows you to learn from Proofreaders with more experience.
  • Decreases the risk of isolation and loneliness you might feel while working from home.
  • Creates colleagues who may be able to refer clients to you if they are too busy.

Networking is powerful. People find jobs with the help of their friends’ recommendations and you can easily find new customers in the same way. Simply ask your friends if they know anyone looking for Proofreading business services. It never hurts to ask and you might get new clients in no time. And also, leave your business cards wherever you go. They might do the job for you, too.

Step 13: Learn how to deliver the best client service

Finally, you need to be ready to deal with the complaints of any frustrated customers. Make sure that they will be left with nothing but a good impression of your business in the end. Either you can hire a professional to deal with frustrated customers or you can learn how to be the perfect fit yourself.

Pros and Cons of starting a proofreading business

Below are some pros and cons of a Proofreading business:

Pros of starting a proofreading business
  • Relatively low startup costs
  • No storefront is needed
  • Formal training or certification is not needed
  • Availability to a broad range of potential clients
Cons of starting a proofreading business
  • Command of the English language is not enough
  • Further education and experience may be necessary
  • Deadlines sometimes can be tight
  • It will take time to build up a steady client base

Costs involved in opening a proofreading business?

The good news is that your startup expenses will be very reasonable. All you need is a place to work, which could easily be your home, a local coffeehouse, or a public library. You’ll also need a computer and Wi-Fi access. Your computer expenses today might very well be less than 50,000rs. Some clients might insist that you have Microsoft Office or other software, which might cost you a few hundred dollars a year.

Challenges you need to know

You also need to be prepared for the inevitable challenges with starting a business.

  • There’s a lot of competition
  • The work won’t land in your lap overnight. It takes time to build a healthy small business
  • Owning an editorial business requires hard work, commitment and patience
  • Proofreading is not the same as copy-editing or substantive editing
  • There’s no magic formula when it comes to earning potential – rates vary according to customer type and each freelancer’s business model.
  • Having a good eye for detail and a strong grasp of the language is only the start
  • Quality training is not a waste of money – it’s an investment in your future business success.
  • Marketing is an active, not a passive, activity and requires creative, strategic thinking and planning.
  • There is more than one customer type, and different customers have different expectations
  • “I’ll proofread anything” isn’t an effective or professional pitch that inspires confidence in a potential client.


Running a personal business is a dream come true for many. However, to make sure that your home-based Proofreading business will last and prosper after years of struggles in the market.

It takes time to build a successful business, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen as quickly as you’d like. Keep honing your skills and marketing your business regularly, and you’ll start to see results.

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