One of the most well-known facts about investing is that dividend-paying stocks far outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term. This means that every long-term investor should own at least one dividend-paying stock, and depending on your age and investment goals, maybe a diversified portfolio full of them. With this in mind, let’s take a look at three small-caps with yields up to 9.1% that you should consider buying today.

1. Student Transportation Inc.: 9.1% yield

Student Transportation Inc. (TSX:STB)(NASDAQ:STB) is one of the largest providers of school bus transportation services in North America. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.0464 per share, or $0.556 per share annually, giving its stock a 9.1% yield at today’s levels. It is also worth noting that the company has maintained this monthly payment for over five years, and I think it could continue to do so for another five years at least.

2. Bonterra Energy Corp.: 5.2% yield

Bonterra Energy Corp. (TSX:BNE) is one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas in Canada. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.15 per share, or $1.80 per share annually, which gives its stock a 5.2% yield at current levels. Investors should also note that Bonterra reduced its dividend by 50% earlier this year as a result of lower commodity prices, but I think the current rate is sustainable until they recover.

3. Transcontinental Inc.: 3.7% yield

Transcontinental Inc. (TSX:TCL.A) is the largest provider of printing services in Canada, with operations in print and digital media, publishing, and flexible packaging. It pays a quarterly dividend of $0.17 per share, or $0.68 per share annually, giving its stock a 3.7% yield at today’s levels. The company also has an extensive track record of raising its annual dividend payment, with a current streak of 13 consecutive years of increases, and I think this makes it one of the top dividend-growth plays in the market today.

Which of these small-cap dividend stocks should you buy today?

Student Transportation, Bonterra Energy, and Transcontinental represent three of the top small-cap dividend-paying investment opportunities in the market. All long-term investors should strongly consider establishing positions in at least one of them today.

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Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned.