How to Print Checks at Home for Your Business
Until recently, if you wanted to print checks at home, you'd need graphic design skills to format checks precisely. This deterred many people from even trying. Thanks to advancements in software, you no longer need skills to print checks.
Check printing software does the tedious work for you and provides a simple way to get a supply of checks fast and for a reasonable price.
In this post, we'll guide you through common questions others have when printing their checks at home.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
Is Printing Checks at Home Legal?
Many people don't know this, but it's 100% legal to print your own checks. Not only is it legal, it's also easy to print your own checks.
All you need to do is gather the right supplies and choose the best check printing software for your business.
Supplies to Print Checks
You only need a handful of things to get started. These include:
- Special printer paper
- Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) font
- Magnetic ink or MICR toner depending on the printer
- MICR-compatible printer
What Kind of Paper Do I Need?
You’ll need to check stock paper which has more security features than white paper. Keep in mind, each check printing software will suggest a type of check stock they’re compatible with. You can find blank check stock paper on Amazon or through local office supply stores.
What’s MICR Font?
Banks use MICR fonts for sensitive information on checks. The type used in the United States is E13B. Ensure the MICR font is compatible with your operating system (i.e., Windows) and that it’s formatted properly.
Don’t worry if this sounds intimidating because most check printing software help with this.
Magnetic Ink vs. Magnetic Toner
Next, you need magnetic ink (sometimes called MICR ink) or MICR toner. Ink is for ink-jet printers, whereas toner is for laser printers. It’s harder to forge documents with MICR ink, so it’s more secure than regular inks. You can buy both from Amazon.
Keep in mind you only have to print the "MICR line" with MICR ink or toner. The MICR line consists of the most sensitive data of your bank account like check amount, account number, routing number, and check numbers.
Other data like payee name and bank logo can be printed regularly.
When choosing between pre-printed checks and blank check stock, consider that pre-printed checks usually have the MICR line already printed compliantly.
Ink-Jet or Laser Printer?
This is an age-old question since printing checks have become popular.
Arguably, ink-jet printers can’t print magnetic ink to the standard required by some bank equipment. However, it’s often accepted. What happens is that bank software flags the check and it ends up needing a worker's input. This makes the process vulnerable to human error.
A good rule of thumb is that if you need a high volume of checks, it’s a better investment to choose a laser printer.
Federal law Check 21 brought a big shift in check printing. Since then, the need for MICR ink or toner has become an area of debate.
How Check 21 Changed Check Printing Laws
Check 21 allows banks to process check information electronically and it’s what also allows you to deposit mobile checks.
Since Check 21, many banks have upgraded to remote deposit capture technology, which can’t detect magnetic ink.
Although industry standards require the MICR line to be printed in magnetic ink, many get away without it. There’s still the risk of trying to deposit the check with an ATM or bank that still uses old technology. Rejected checks not only harm your reputation but come with fees too.
Check Printing Software
Checkeeper is a popular small business choice. It seamlessly connects with accounting software services for added simplicity. Checkeeper also works with all types of check stock and automatically formats to bank standards.
Checkeeper works with both blank check stock and pre-printed checks. It’s also the first software to work with white paper as a last resort.
Personal Checks Vs. Business Checks: Is there a difference?
Business checks are generally made with more security features than personal checks. The sizes also differ. Businesses can technically use personal checks and some do because it’s cheaper, but it can look unprofessional.
Step-by-Step Check Printing
Now that you have everything, check printing is straightforward. Here are the steps:
- Pick software
- Gather software-compatible supplies
- Review carefully
- Happy printing!
Print Checks Anywhere, Hassle-Free
Printing checks has never been easier. Technology advancements not only eliminated the need for design skills, but also reduced the cost of buying the right things.
Start printing checks on your own with a free 14-day trial of Checkeeper.
Checkeeper also connects with FreshBooks for your accounting needs.
More Resources on Small Business Accounting