Questions to Ask a Private Investigator to Ensure You Found a Good One

From a private investigator to any would-be client out there:  Do your homework before blindly hiring any old private investigator. Don’t just assume that every private investigator pushing their services is licensed, qualified, or even acting in a legal manner. Search out the best.

Here’s how.

Use this list of questions to ensure you are getting ready to hire a reputable, licensed, and qualified investigator, tailor-made for your specific need:

  1. Are you licensed?
  2. What is your license number?
  3. Are you currently in good standing with your state’s licensing board?
  4. Do you carry liability insurance?
  5. Can I see some testimonials?
  6. Do you have a website or social media for your business?
  7. Can I see an example of a typical report you produce?
  8. Do you use a contract?
  9. Have you ever investigated this type of case before?
  10. How long have you been in business?
  11. Do you plan to subcontract any work for my case? If so, tell me about your subcontractors. Are they licensed? Insured?
  12. How often and under what conditions will you contact me throughout the entirety of my case? Also, what method of communication will you use?
  13. How often do you attend continuing education or other training courses?
  14. Do you belong to any professional associations?
  15. Do you possess any specialized certificates?
  16. What is your background?
  17. Tell me about your pricing method. Do you use flat fees or bill hourly? Do you require a retainer? If so, how much?
  18. Will I be billed for any incidentals, such as mileage, meals, lodging, etc.?
  19. What is your projected timeline for my case? When will you begin?

If you contact an investigator who gets exasperated with your questions, refuses to answer them, or whose answers don’t meet your expectations, move on to your next option and try again.

Don’t settle.

There are many private investigators out there who are very good at what they do and will be fair and communicative. I am one of them, but am also happy to recommend many of my awesome colleagues if my particular skills don’t meet your needs.

You deserve a really great experience with any private investigation service. Period. And it’s possible. Keep this list handy and you’ll already be off on the right foot.