A typing bureau is a company which offers secretarial services on a piecework basis, with clients sending in work for employees to perform and bill accordingly. As one might imagine, typing bureaus offer typing services, but they typically offer an assortment of other services as well. A variety of people use typing bureaus, from university students to small business owners who want to free up time to focus on specific projects, and because the services of a typing bureau can be performed at a remote location, it is generally very easy to finding a typing bureau to perform secretarial work.
Typing services often make up the core of a typing bureau's business, with employees agreeing to prepare fully typed documents from tapes, handwritten documents, and other sources. Most typing bureaus also offer letter and resume-writing services, in addition to copying, faxing, binding, and related tasks. Typing bureaus with a focus on academic document preparation may specifically advertise rates for typing up theses, dissertations, and similar documents.
The rates at a typing bureau vary, depending on the type of document being prepared. Typing bureaus may charge by the line, hour, or page, depending on their fee structure, and such fees are usually explicitly stated in the bureau's brochures and other promotional material. For a long or complex project, it is common for the typing bureau to submit an estimate before proceeding, so that the client can decide whether or not to go ahead.
For people trying to manage small businesses alone, a typing bureau can be extremely useful. Running a business can get quite complex, and the day to day secretarial errata can get very time consuming and grinding. By farming such work out to a typing bureau, a business owner can focus on the important task of developing the business, expanding the client base, and providing high quality services.
Typing bureaus are also used by job seekers, larger businesses, students, and individuals who may need various documents prepared at some point in their lives. Awkward typists may take advantage of the services of a typing bureau to prepare formal correspondence, for example, to ensure that their documents are taken seriously.