Printing your own business checks can save loads of money for your business, especially if you heavily rely on checks for money transfer. Not to mention that it allows you to customize them just the way you want.

Luckily, with the right tools, you can easily print checks at an affordable cost. In this guide, we’ll help you understand everything you need to know about printing checks and prepare all the required tools to get started.

Things You’ll Need to Print Your Own Professional Checks

1. An MICR Toner

Printing checks requires a special type of toner called MICR toner. MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition, a reference to the magnetic ink used by officials to print sensitive information on checks, including the check number, bank routing number, and account number. Printing checks using normal ink puts you at a high risk of getting your checks rejected for security purposes.

OEM MICR toners are usually somewhat expensive, but you can always opt for remanufactured MICR Toner Cartridges. These are cheaper than OEM toners and they do the exact same thing. Just make sure that you buy them from a trusted reseller.

Furthermore, if you’re going to print bulk amounts if checks, make sure that the toner has a high yield output.

2. Magnetic Ink

Magnetic ink is the only type of ink you can use to print legitimate checks. As its name implies, magnetic ink is sensitive to magnetic fields, allowing it to be checked using bank check processing machines for enhanced security and fraud protection. Bank officials are also trained to inspect checks and the type of ink used to print them.

3. Choosing the Right Printer

A check printer is simply a normal printer that has been set up to print checks. You just have to make sure that it’s compatible with MICR toners and you’re good to go. 

some printers come bundled with an MICR toner, so you don’t have to buy it separately.

Other factors are probably the same things you’d look for when buying a printer for any purpose. Typically you’d want the printer to:

  • Produce high quality prints
  • Have a high print speed
  • Energy-efficient 
  • Have low running costs
  • Have a high monthly duty cycle (for bulk check printing)

4. Check Stock Paper

Just like how you can’t print checks using regular ink, you can’t simply use any type of paper. You’ll have to buy some check stock paper, which is especially designed for check printing. It usually has several features like microprinting, watermarks, and security warnings.

5. Software for Printing Checks

There are many software packages that are made especially for layouting and formatting checks. You can design them on your own, but that can be quite time consuming and you may not be able to get the design right.

Some of the programs that allow you to do that include Xero, Quicken, and Quickbooks. These programs are quite inexpensive and they have multiple preset check designs that you can choose from.

Is It Illegal to Print Checks?

Printing your own checks is 100% legal. There’s nothing wrong with the act of check-printing itself, it’s about how these checks will be used. If they’re used for business and personal payments just like ready-made checks, then it’s perfectly fine for checks to be printed by the user.

However, some people may print checks for illegal purposes like fraud and scams, which is punishable by law. In that case, it doesn’t matter whether the individual printed or bought a checkbook, it’s the actual use of the checks that’s considered a criminal act.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a good idea about how you can print business checks, you can give it a try on your own. 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the process is quite easier than many people may think. You just need to have the right tools and the rest of the work won’t differ that much from printing normal office documents.