How to hire a private investigator

Protect yourself from unscrupulous practices by following our tips on hiring a private detective.

Alternatively call us on 0141 548 8055 for a free and confidential telephone consultation. Or click here to enquire online.

When you’re dealing with a business on the Internet it pays to find out as much as you can about who you are really dealing with – after all, you could be just about to hand over some very personal or sensitive data about yourself and your circumstances.

When hiring a detective we suggest talking to the detective in-person and here are some questions to consider:

Is the detective experienced?

Ask the detective how much professional training and experience they have and how they came to be a private detective. Many detectives, likes those at Boothroyds, are ex- law enforcement or military and bring with them skills from their previous profession.

What field of investigation do they specialise in?

You may need to hire a detective with specialist skills, for example in surveillance, tracing people or fraud. Others may have more experience of matrimonial enquiries, personal injury and work place absence. Think about your situation and the types of skills you will require. Also ask if all work will be completed in house or outsourced, it’s important to know who’ll have access to your confidential information.

Is the detective local?

Many detective investigation agencies appear to offer national coverage. 0800 and 0845 numbers may offer you free or local rate calls but they can also be used to mask the actual location of the agency you are calling. Check the investigator’s website and look for a physical address and if you can, verify that address by other means, for example does the investigation company appear in other directories listing the same address. Also ask to meet the investigator.

Does the investigator have proper insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance is part and parcel of running a legitimate business, so ask your investigator about their cover.

Choosing the best investigator for you

Ask if the investigator you are speaking with will be handling your case personally. This is an important point because many investigative agencies are what’s known in the trade as ‘facilitators’. Facilitators are companies or individuals who appear to offer investigative services across the breadth of the country.

Facilitators are able to offer this nationwide service by sub-contracting their cases to local private investigators. By the time your sensitive information or predicament is sub-contracted or handed over to a third party you’ll no longer be in control of who is handling your affairs.

As it stands private investigators in the UK are not required to be licensed. This means the it’s your responsibility to find out as much as you can about the person who will be handling your sensitive situation.

Using these top tips above combined with your judgement should help you hire the best detective for you.

Do you need more information? Call us on 0141 548 8055 for a free and confidential telephone consultation.

Or click here to enquire online.

Boothroyd Associates Ltd provides a professional investigation service across the UK. Members of: The Institute of Professional Investigators, Ex police in Commerce, the World Association of Professional Investigators and registered with the Information Commissioner.

We provide a professional trustworthy service, we are regulated and act in accordance with the law at all times.

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We’re a family business working with private individuals and corporate clients.

Our telephone number is 0141 548 8055.

Call us now while you have the number to hand – confidentiality is guaranteed.

Your first telephone or online consultation is FREE.

People needing help contact us every day and most of them are using an investigator for the first time.

How to hire a private investigator

Cops are not the only ones on the job when it comes to investigating and gathering evidence. A Private Investigator (P.I.) is a citizen who another citizen may employ for any legal reason. There are particular situations where a lawyer, too, may hire a P.I. for help in building a case. Read on to learn more about

  • What a P.I. Does and Their Qualifications for the Job;
  • Lawyers and P.I.s and Where They May Interact; and
  • Legal Issues That May Arise from a P.I.’s Involvement.

What Are Private Investigators and What Do They Do?

Contrary to popular belief, P.I.s are not vigilantes out on a mission for justice—nor are they everyday untrained people looking to start a new freelance business.

You need a registration to be a private detective, and while there are not many experience requirements for one, there are a few basic requirements.

P.I.s must be at least 25 years old, pass an FBI background check, and have an employment offer from or employment with a licensed P.I. agency. There are recommended training of relevant studies in criminal justice or legal studies at either an Associate or Bachelors degree level—however, it is not required.

Opening a private detective agency requires licensing, and a license requires experience. What type of experience?

Five or more years’ experience…

  • As a certifiedprivate detective AND
  • As a full-time Police Officer (along with both completion of an approved police officer training course and three years in investigation as a detective).

So, yes: private investigators are quite experienced. Chances are, your lawyer wouldn’t chance a case on one that wasn’t.

P.I.s do a few different things once certified. For one, anyone can hire a P.I. for whatever matters they list. A business may employ one to conduct background checks or corporate security. An individual might hire a P.I. to help track down a missing person. Attorneys, of course, may enlist the help of a P.I. to gather evidence.

There are many ways a P.I. may go about accomplishing any task. They may conduct interviews, searches of records or areas, covert surveillance of a person, employment verification inquiries, computer forensics efforts when looking into identity crimes, or general collections of evidence leading up to a trial or for their client’s own use.

Usual P.I. work is fairly multifaceted, allowing them to switch between an office for research and “the field” (or anywhere that is not their workspace) for any surveillance, interviewing, or evidence gathering.

The role of P.I.s varies situation-to-situation, but in-general function as civilian investigators independent of, but not necessarily removed from, law enforcement.

To your lawyer, though, a P.I.’s role in forming your case may be make-or-break.

Situations Where Your Lawyer May Call A Private Investigator

Lawyers usually don’t just hire any average P.I.; they hire ones with legal experience. What does legal experience entail? A legal investigator is a P.I. who specializes in conducting investigations that may eventually serve a case rather than assist in personal and business matters.

The above examples of what a P.I. may do for work are not far from why a lawyer may need them.

A major component of any trial is gathering evidence and finding witnesses; legal P.I.s can do just that. Your lawyer may be too busy building the case to go out and directly find witnesses themselves, so they’ll hire a P.I. to fill the gaps. They can set up interviews, conduct research on a person’s relationship to the case (or any relevant experts who may lend their professional opinion), and go beyond initial police reports to help your lawyer build the fullest case possible.

In that, if a witness changes their story in court from what they initially told the P.I., the investigator may take the stand to testify as to what was said during the interview.

In criminal defense , a lawyer may even call on the perspective of a P.I. to look over their case. If there are gaps, they may use the resources at their disposal to provide more foundation and basis for any claims made. This also may include looking at cross-examination and researching a witness’s past to potentially discredit them at trial.

Family lawyers may use a P.I. during the lead-up to a divorce proceeding. For example, if you suspect your spouse is having an affair , a P.I. can conduct surveillance on them and gather evidence on their whereabouts and activities. This may help tremendously during settlement negotiations.

Your lawyer will most likely keep you in the loop with their decisions, especially when it comes to hiring a P.I. Of course, it is important to also know about any grey areas that come with a P.I.’s involvement in your case and possible practices that may be illegal.

Potential Legal Issues with Private Investigators

We have stressed throughout this blog that your lawyer should, in almost every situation, hire a P.I. who knows what lines not to cross and complete their work efficiently and effectively.

However, keep in mind a few possible pitfalls of private investigation that might cause more legal snares than loopholes.

For one, surveillance is accepted, but practices like wiretapping or trespassing are highly illegal. Maryland has strict consent laws that prohibit recording a conversation without another party’s permission. Trespassing, on the other hand, is a no-brainer when it comes it illegality; a P.I., in any case, cannot enter the home of a person without their permission.

A P.I. also cannot impersonate a law enforcement officer to gain entry to a house or an interview from a potential witness. This even includes using any former police identification or P.I. badges that resemble a police badge. Misleading a witness will create more problems in the future rather than solve them.

There are certain pieces of personal information a P.I. cannot access. For example, any type of financial information that goes past publicly accessible court information is off-limits without a subpoena. Any expunged criminal records should not be unearthed or unsealed, or used against a person in a court of law, either.

Try and be as involved as possible in your legal situation and the case your attorney sets to build. Talk to private investigators involved in the process and understand their role. They’re there to help you round out the case to its fullest potential, so you have the best chance at the most ideal legal outcome possible.

If you find yourself in a tough legal bind or need additional assistance in furthering divorce efforts , contact our offices for a free initial consultation. Our lawyers will use all available resources to their advantage to help you succeed. When the odds seem insurmountable, come talk to us for a fresh, new perspective.

Asking questions and finding out as much information about an investigator and their agency can help prevent you from choosing the wrong investigator, which could result in:

  • a compromised investigation,
  • liability/exposure for you – the client, and
  • higher costs due to failure or poor results

What should you look for when hiring a private investigator?

It is important to consider a number of factors and ask a number of questions before hiring a private investigator, so that you can make the best choice for your situation. It is very important that a licensed private investigator has the right training and qualifications.

1. Is the investigator licensed?

To legally provide private investigation services in Ontario, investigators must be licensed, and must either work for an agency, or be licensed as an agency themselves. It is always prudent to ask the investigator to show you their licence.

Licenses are issued by the Ontario Ministry Of Community Safety & Correctional Services (MCSCS), which is the Ministry responsible for overseeing the private investigation industry. Some of the requirements to obtain a licence include being 18 years of age or older, having a clean criminal record, taking a basic training course, and passing an exam.

How do you know your private investigator is licensed?

After obtaining its licence, an agency must register as an employer with the MCSCS online at ServiceOntario. The agency must register the names, individual licence numbers and licence types for each employee working for it as a private investigator. Registrations are valid for one year and must be renewed annually through ServiceOntario. This information is added to the MCSCS database. To verify someone’s licence status, check the online Private Security and Investigative Services Licence Registry.

Individuals can conduct three types of searches on the Licence Registry:

  1. The licence number of an individual – to confirm the licence status of a private investigator.
  2. The licence number of an agency – to confirm the licence status of an agency that sells the services of private investigators.
  3. The business name of an agency – to confirm the registration status of an employer that directly employs private investigators.

2. Does the private investigation agency carry General Liability Insurance?

In order to be issued a private investigation licence, an agency must show proof that they have a minimum of $2,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage. Before hiring an agency, you can ask to see proof that the agency’s insurance policy has been maintained.

3. Does the private investigator conduct the type of investigation you need?

This could include:

  • background checks
  • employee fraud investigations
  • find missing persons
  • child custody investigations
  • domestic dispute investigations
  • intellectual property investigations
  • asset searches
  • workplace insurance board investigations
  • skip tracing, and so on.

4. Do they make a good impression and seem professional?

When you are interviewing a private investigator, make an assessment of whether you believe they are operating in a responsible and professional manner.

For example, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Does the private investigator operate out of professional office space?
  • Do they have a website?
  • Do they respond quickly and in a professional manner?

5. What are their fees?

It is also important to find out how much their services will cost. Experienced investigators will be able to provide an estimate after knowing the circumstances and requirements of your situation.

Some questions you can ask include:

  • do they charge a flat fee or hourly rate?
  • can they give you an estimate of what your investigation will cost you?
  • is an upfront retainer or deposit required?
  • will they sign a contract upfront detailing the services to be performed and the estimated costs?
  • will they provide an itemized bill and accounting of services after the investigation is done?
  • what is their policy with respect to interim billing and progress reports?

What additional questions should you ask before hiring a private investigator?

Once you have found an investigator that you have confirmed is licensed and satisfies the other concerns mentioned above, before hiring them you should still conduct a phone interview, or ask to meet with them. Many investigators provide a free initial consultation.

During your consultation, ask the investigator:

  • How many years experience do they have as a private investigator?
  • What is their background? For example, were they previously in law enforcement?
  • Can they provide you with references? Do those references check out?
  • Do they have experience testifying in court?

How much do private investigation services cost?

Depending on a number of factors, such as the type of services required, the cost of hiring a private investigator can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. As well, an investigator may charge either a flat fee or an hourly fee for the investigation.

Flat fee

Some investigators may charge a flat fee for basic or specific services, such as a background check, criminal record search, asset investigation, or vehicle registration search.

Hourly fee

Some investigators may charge an hourly fee that could range typically from $60 an hour to $140 an hour. This may apply in investigations than involve surveillance where it is not known how much time will be spent.

Retainers and deposits

Investigators may also ask for a retainer or deposit upfront, which is to be applied against services rendered and expenses incurred. This amount could vary depending on the type of investigation to be conducted. For instance, a retainer for criminal defence work will probably be higher than one for an investigation that just involves data searches.

Regardless of how they charge for their services, the amount will be determined not only by the type of investigation done, but by a number of other factors, including:

  • the amount of time that will be spent to conduct the investigation and prepare a report
  • the location of the agency or services
  • the level of experience of the investigators involved
  • how much information you are requesting
  • how much information you can provide to help with the investigation
  • the urgency of the investigation
  • the amount of travel that will be involved
  • expenses that must be incurred, such as airline or hotel expenses
  • if the investigator requires the assistance of an associate in another province, or country

To have someone conduct a background check or other investigation, contact our preferred Investigators, Smith Investigation Agency .

People often ask the question – is it legal to hire a private investigator in the UK? And the simple answer is “yes” it is.

There are many services that UK Private Investigators can provide, and most reputable agencies cover the whole spectrum of investigations, backed by many years of experience.

However, what services a private investigator can offer legally, by staying within the law in the UK, in 2022, is where confusion can often arise.

There is little point in conducting an investigation where the evidence is obtained illegally, putting clients at risk. Regardless of how keen a client is to obtain this.

Unfortunately, when we hear the words private investigator many people think of Magnum PI, Sherlock Holmes, or even Strike, Vincent and Shakespeare & Hathaway, but these lovable characters are huge misrepresentations of what a private investigator can do within the parameters of UK law.

How to hire a private investigator

The services we see on TV such as trespassing, phone tapping, computer hacking or obtaining personal records are highly illegal. However, there is a huge array of tactics and methods a private investigator can adopt to obtain the information needed without breaking any laws and ensuring no breach of human rights or data protection.

It should be remembered here that there are those who actually ‘haven’t been caught yet’ and therefore have no adverse Criminal record, yet a discreet but thorough investigation can unearth any amount of anti-social or illegal behaviour.

There are roughly 10,000 private investigators operating in the UK yet only 2,000 have voluntarily signed up to be part of an industry body such as WAPI, ABI or IPI. Therefore, it’s vital that if you do find yourself hiring a private investigator, you find an agency that knows the intricacies of UK law, operates within those laws and has the skill set to legally and responsibly obtain the information that’s needed to help with your investigation.

A reputable private investigator that has voluntarily signed up to be part of a peer-to peer trade body (WAPI, ABI, IPI) will also operate under a strict ethical code.

Insight Investigations are proud members of W.A.P. I – The World Association of Professional Investigators. Membership to the association comes after thorough vetting.

When dealing in such personal and private matters which involve people’s lives, it’s essential to have a strong moral compass and only take on Investigations where there has been a clear wrongdoing, or where employing an investigator to get to the truth of a situation will benefit the client, with no malice intended.

Misuse of private investigator services is something that we at Insight Investigations are highly aware of and all of our investigators are trained to assess each case thoroughly and make the call as to whether it should be taken on and progressed.

So what is and isn’t legal? We asked our senior investigator Tony to break down the do’s and don’ts both legally and ethically of obtaining information for a case.

Official records

Accessing someone’s criminal, medical, banking or financial history is strictly illegal and highly unethical. Instead, to try and build up a picture of someone’s history and their previous actions, our dedicated researchers are trained to review and unpick publicly available records, online searches and social media. Using a wide variety of public records enables us to piece together a full picture of a person to alleviate any fears or concerns.

We might be working for someone who is concerned about a new love interest of a family member and would just like to know a little more to protect the person they love. Building a fully rounded picture of that person is often more helpful than simply knowing whether they have any previous convictions.

Clients can sometimes think this is something that’s easily done themselves, but we’ve spent years building relationships with local court houses, registry offices and libraries where these documents are often held. We also subscribe and pay membership fees to online legal aggregators of public records which grants us access to things not readily available to the general public. There’s also a huge amount of public information available, it’s just knowing where to look and how to analyse the information in front of us.

Phone and computer hacking

It is both illegal and unethical to hack someone’s phone or computer and this is not a service that any reputable private investigator would offer. Be wary of any private investigator who offers products such as apps and programmes for electronic equipment designed to hack information. Not only are they breaking the law, selling you this type of equipment, you are also breaking the law when using it. Often this type of software, is in fact a scam and we find ourselves regularly helping clients who have been ripped off by rogue investigators selling software that simply doesn’t work.

At Insight Investigations we take a different approach. There are several tactics which we adopt to get to the truth of a situation such as highly skilled surveillance teams carrying out public monitoring of a suspect or legally placed GPS car tracking of that suspect. Both of which can ascertain the same sort of information completely within the law.


Under no circumstances should a private investigator enter into a private home or workplace without permission. No matter how important the case, this is trespassing in the eyes of UK law and also completely unethical. All of our investigations are done in public places or using public records and information.

After all, Clients must be advised that evidence obtained illegally, irrespective of its value, will likely be challenged at Court and disallowed and could harm your case irreparably.

Every case is unique and every situation needs a tailored approach from a trained, experienced investigator. For a free consultation with one of our team about your own personal situation, you can contact us 24 hours a day seven days a week on the number below, or fill out our contact form here.

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator in the UK in 2022?

When looking for a private investigator, many people will want to know how much it is likely to cost before they engage someone, which is perfectly understandable. Unlike an off the shelf product, there is no such thing as a “typical” investigation, so most Investigators can’t charge a flat fee for most services.

With rapidly rising costs in todays economy, don’t hire a Private Investigator, unless you can have an honest conversation with them about costs. Cost estimates in 2022, may be critical to a successful investigation. Cutting corners to reduce costs is not something Insight do, but we will work with you and your budget to achieve the results you are looking for.

The final cost of course will depend on what type of investigation you have requested. Speaking with us, for a free initial consultation, is quite often the best way to establish if hiring a private investigator is the best course of action for you and your situation.

What does a private investigator do?

A private investigator or private detective is an individual or group of individuals hired to carry out an investigation and gather information about a situation or problem. An experienced private investigator uses a wide range of observational and research techniques to gather intelligence for their client, typically working discretely to achieve results.

Typical Services offered by a private investigator include, but are not limited to

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How much does a private investigator cost?

One of the most common questions asked about hiring a private investigator is ‘How much will it cost me”?

Prices are influenced by several factors such as the type of service, how long the service is needed for and the resources an investigation requires.

Before starting work, a private investigator will consult with you to understand exactly what is expected of them before providing a quote and advise an appropriate payment option.

An initial consultation is usually free.

In terms of billing, a private investigator usually charges an hourly rate on the understanding each piece of work must be tailored to a client’s needs and will use different resources.

Many Investigation Agencies will offer a set fee for a set number of hours required to bring a successful outcome to an investigation.

It is worth asking in advance how you will be invoiced, highlighting any preferences you have.

“A telephone consultation with one of Insights investigators will guide you straight to the most cost effective option tailored to your needs” to get the results you need.

How will I be charged for a private investigator’s services?

Private investigators often charge a ‘flat fee’ for some services, which will be discussed during an initial consultation. Some ask for that method to pay for all their services.

However, a majority prefer to charge by the hour for jobs, in most circumstances quoting a fee for an agreed number of hours to achieve the desired results.

Prices per hour range from £30 to £85 per hour, with an average hourly rate typically £50 to £55 per hour

As experienced investigators they understand that no task is the same as another and tailor what they charge accordingly. A location for the investigation may also be a factor.

An hourly rate might seem like a high cost to commit to, especially if there is no certainty on how long an investigation will take. As a result, it may be tempting to hire a cheaper, less experienced investigator to save on expenses.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that they might take longer to complete a job than an experienced professional. That risks costing more money overall if you’re paying by the hour. It could also lead to results that don’t meet the standard of proof required if a case goes to court for civil or criminal proceedings.

There are examples of sloppy, rushed, half-hearted or illegal practices ruining the chances of a successful outcome.

Hiring a professional and reputable private investigator will save you money, time and worry. Speak to one, and you’ll quickly understand the potential benefits.

Here at Insight we are fully transparent with our charges, with no hidden extras.

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What other costs should I expect to pay?

In addition to the services they carry out, some private investigators charge for other costs incurred while doing their work. That could include travel expenses, both time spent and mileage covered, client reporting, set-up fees and any other challenges faced.

A reputable and professional investigator will not hide extra costs and should be transparent by agreeing them with a client at the start of an investigation. It is recommended that you ask during an initial consultation, so you aren’t surprised by unexpected charges.

Be wary of hidden costs that can cause an investigation to spiral.

Like lawyers, private investigators often ask for a retainer or payment in advance before they take on a job. That usually reflects the nature of the service requested and will be deducted from any fees incurred.

Investigators should accept all major credit or debit cards. Be wary of any that insist on being paid in cash or by bank transfer only for what they do. While taking cash isn’t a problem, the Private Investigation sector itself, isn’t currently regulated in the UK and unfortunately, contains a share of rogue traders.

It is also always wise to ensure that your investigator is a member of one of the industry’s trade association, that adhere to a strict code of conduct.

Hiring a private investigator

Although it is important to consider costs when hiring an investigator, the most important factor should always be finding the right solution to a sensitive or difficult problem and delivering a satisfactory outcome for clients. Getting it wrong can have repercussions.

It should be comforting to know every avenue is being explored and that a private investigator is doing their best to achieve the results you want as quickly as possible.

Call Insight to discuss your situation with us. It may work out less expensive than you thought, to get to the truth.

Some expert advice on how to hire a private investigator in Michigan.

First and foremost, please understand that when you hire a Michigan private investigator, you have absolute, guaranteed confidentiality. In Michigan, the law that governs private investigators offers one of, if not the strongest level of investigator – client privilege in the country. A Michigan private investigator truly cannot disclose information about your case, even in response to a state court subpoena, without breaking that law. This makes the secrecy and confidentiality of your matter well taken care of.

How to hire a private investigator

Make Hiring a PI Easy, Call Us Today and Get All Your Questions Answered!

Another important consideration when you ask how to hire a private investigator is to understand that you need to do as through a job as possible at explaining your case and the facts to the investigator. It is very common for people describe “facts” that they know about the situation that area actually just their summation or rumor. Although those guesses and rumors may prove true, and you should always mention your theory on the case, the investigator needs to build a plan of action off of facts. When inaccurate information is part of the plan, time and money can easily be wasted pursuing leads that go nowhere.

Understand what a Michigan private investigator can and can’t do.

It is very important that you understand that a Michigan private investigator does not have any special powers that allow us to gain access to information. Unlike law enforcement, we cannot access private information and we cannot compel people to do things or to cooperate with us. This also plays into the idea that if a Michigan private investigator is a former law enforcement officer, that they can use friends within law enforcement to give them private governmental information or to help them. This is simply not true. If someone in law enforcement were to assist a PI in this way, they and the PI are breaking the law and likely to face criminal charges.

You can’t hire a private investigator to get private records like tax return or cell phone records. There is a frequent misconception that some private investigators are able to do this. This is only true on TV.

What a good private investigator can do is get you information and evidence that an inexperienced, untrained person likely cannot, and do so in much quicker time. Private investigators also have access to some specialized tools and resources that the lay person does not. These tools regularly give the Michigan PI extra leads to follow that can make or break a case.

Many people like to talk about the idea that you don’t need to hire a private investigator, and instead you can do the same work yourself. Using Google and owning a video camera doesn’t make you an investigator, nor will it allow you to produce real investigative results or get surveillance footage and do so without getting caught. Many people like the idea of doing PI work and the excitement, but that enthusiasm is not a replacement for genuine training, experience, tradecraft and resources.

Lastly, a Michigan PI is not a magician. It is rare to find an investigator who can or should guarantee that they will get you the exact results you are looking for. Just like in law or medicine, there can twists and turns that lead to unforeseen obstacles. This is the nature of investigations and cannot be eliminated.

Understand that not all Michigan private investigators can produce the same results.

As a rule of thumb, we believe that the smaller, local PI agency is not the best option when asking how to hire a private investigator. A smaller Michigan PI is likely to have less resources and less capability than a larger professional investigative agency. Also, many smaller PI agencies are part time operations who simply get your case and then subcontract it to another PI at a cheaper rate, leaving you with someone you never met working on your case. This is not an ideal situation for anyone but the PI who took your money.

Be realistic about the cost to hire a private investigator

Hiring a private investigator, like any professional, has a cost. Although every case differs, and some cases cost less than others, one should count on the cost being at least $750 for most types of cases. In some cases, a smaller scale background check or specific type of search can cost less, but count on a commitment beginning around that number.

You should get all of your questions answered in one call.

The best answer of how to hire a private investigator does not always end with you scheduling an in-person meeting at the PI’s office. In the vast majority of cases, you can engage a private investigator after a simple telephone call. During that call, not only will you be vetting the investigator to make she that they are the right PI agency to assist you, you will also learn what to expect from the investigation and get a time table from the investigator. Be prepared to discuss all the details about your case at that time. After the call, if you want to move forward, they will send you a contract or engagement letter. Read the private investigator’s contract and make sure that you understand what they are responsible for.

Some pro questions you should ask and why:

Do they have real employees and workers compensation insurance?

Who will actually be doing the work (meaning the specific investigator) and what is her/his background?

Can you furnish me with a sample report on a similar case? It only makes sense to see an example of what your paying for.

ASG understands stressful times that may warrant a private investigator can be overwhelming and it may difficult to make the call to hire a private investigator. We make the process easy and provide free consultations coming directly from our expert investigators. Real investigators, real people, real answers. With offices in Clinton Township, Novi and Birmingham, we can assist many regions throughout Southeastern Michigan. Call ASG today!

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How to hire a private investigator

When should you hire a private investigator: A private investigator is used for many reasons. Private investigators, private detectives and private eyes are invaluable at finding new information, working undercover and even cyber investigations and have proven themselves great at revealing the locations of much-needed witnesses or debtors. If you find yourself in need of evidence that requires extensive research or some form of surveillance investigation, then a private investigator or private detective may be who you are searching for.

Many individuals will hire a private investigator to find a lost loved one, find out a relative was adopted, or even discover their spouse was less than faithful. No matter the reason, a license & experienced private investigator or private eye knows how to find the information you need. Keep in mind that when hiring a private investigator, whether personally or professionally, the information or evidence they find may not be what you want to hear.

A private investigator or private detective can perform surveillance investigations for long periods along with detecting and revealing information that may be critical to your investigation or ordinarily unavailable or hidden to find without a private eye. They are also trained to record a subject through surveillance investigations, infidelity investigations, and even child custody investigations so that no one is aware of it being done. Since private investigators and private detectives are licensed and must operate within the law, it’s essential to consider this before initiating an investigation. A private investigator will provide the highest safety for a client when taking a case. This also means they can handle themselves and are dedicated to the client by remaining hidden at all times.

When to hire a private investigator as a private citizen?

This is done because you may not have the know-how, time, or even the human resources to do it on your own. It can take a lot of research, and an investigator can work without bias and will prove to be a tremendous lifesaver.

  • Domestic Investigations
  • Missing Person Investigations
  • Death Investigations
  • Fraud Investigations
  • Stalking Investigations
  • Elderly Abuse Investigations
  • Probate Investigations
  • Bug Sweep Investigations

When to hire an investigator as an organization?

Many businesses and organizations use investigators to do in house investigations, bug sweeps, corporate investigations & due diligence investigations. Their insight and unique skillsets are used to resolve many sensitive situations a company may find themselves in.

  • National Background reports
  • Insurance Fraud Investigations
  • Worker’s Compensation Investigations
  • Cyber Investigations
  • Social Media Investigations
  • Mystery Shopping Investigations
  • Hidden and security cameras

Hiring a private investigator, whether you’re a private citizen, can involve one of the things mentioned above or be much more involved in nature. As much as you may want to take the time and money to gather evidence, much of it may be incorrect or irrelevant to your actual needs. Utilizing a license and experienced investigator can ensure that all your bases are covered, and they get the most relevant and vital evidence you need for your investigation. A private investigator has the experience, knowledge, and connections required to get the job done correctly and within the parameters of the law.

Nathans Investigations has built a system that not only gets the preparation done quickly but also gives leaves adequate time to get the information you need in an efficient and expedited fashion. If you have suspicions, contact us. We are on your side and ready to assist you in putting this unfortunate situation behind you. Please contact us for more information on when to hire a Private Investigator. Private Detective or Private Eye.

Individuals, corporate representatives and attorneys hire private investigators for a variety of reasons, including suspicions of infidelity, insurance fraud and hidden assets.

Hiring a private investigator is not an everyday task, which means most people are unsure of where to start their search and by what criteria they should measure results. To help you find a professional private investigator who will legally, ethically and effectively get the answers to your questions, we’ve created a list of five questions you should ask before you hire a PI:

Who can hire a private investigator?

Is it legal to hire a private investigator? This is a common question. People are often unsure about who can hire a PI, figuring they need a referral or some sort of broker to connect them to a private investigator. Not true. Anyone can hire a PI, and it is absolutely within your legal rights to engage a professional to help you uncover the truth.

What’s more, a private investigator has no greater authority than any other citizen – they can’t fine, arrest or prosecute anyone. But they are, of course, licensed and trained to engage in private detective work.

There’s an important caveat, though, particularly when conducting asset searches and comprehensive backgrounds. You cannot hire a PI to investigate a simple curiosity or conspiracy theory.

What constitutes a qualified PI?

Private investigator requirements differ by state. PIs are often former members of public law enforcement or are military veterans, but it is not a requirement.

Candidates for PI licensure in North Carolina can be US citizens or green card holders and must be at least 18 years old. In South Carolina, candidates must be US citizens and at least 18 to operate without a weapon, 21 if armed.

In North and South Carolina, PIs must obtain licensure through the NC Department of Public Safety or SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED) respectively. North Carolina differs from South in that it reciprocates licenses issued in several states, including South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana and California. This reciprocity agreement allows North Carolina PIs to follow cases that originate in NC into these other states for a limited time period, and vice versa.

How to hire a private investigator

How do I find a good PI?

A good private investigator is one who operates within the law, abides by a strict ethical code, sets realistic expectations, and produces results that are admissible in court. It can take a little bit of legwork to ensure you engage an ideal PI. Keep these points in mind while you search:

  • Connect by phone and in person with your prospective PI. If they are difficult to reach, slow to respond, or give you a negative impression during your meeting – these are red flags. Above all else, you want a private investigator who demonstrates integrity and professionalism.
  • Be mindful of private investigators who promise to get you the answers “you need” or “you deserve”. You may be signing yourself up for a slanted investigation that will waste your time and resources and won’t stand up in court.
  • If you wonder about the legality of a strategy – ask. Be wary of an investigator who operates in a “gray area” or who makes promises of results that won’t serve you in the long run.
  • You get what you pay for. If you go with the cheapest PI you can find, you are likely to regret it. Shoddy investigative work and cut corners will yield incomplete and possibly inaccurate results – the consequences of which could be disastrous for your case.
  • Make sure your PI will prepare a book of evidence for use in court and will testify on your behalf if necessary. If you will need to call on an expert, make sure you have a competent, credentialed investigator with bona fide expertise.

What strategies do PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS use?

Private investigators deploy traditional detective methods, such as covert surveillance strategies, and make use of sophisticated technology, including digital forensics, in order to get results.

It’s important to note that PIs must operate within the confines of the law. Laws differ from state to state, but here are some of the common parameters private investigators must work within. As examples, PIs cannot:

  • Harass people.
  • Impersonate an individual.
  • Impersonate law enforcement.
  • Trespass on private property.
  • Abuse database access.
  • Engage in hacking.
  • Use bribery.
  • Tamper with mail.
  • Make an arrest.

How to hire a private investigator

How much does it cost to hire a private investigator?

The cost associated with hiring a private investigator varies widely depending on the type, scope and scale of the case and subsequent investigative and intelligence services required.

Private investigators typically offer two fee structures. Some firms mandate a retainer and then bill against the retainer for services rendered at an hourly rate, and for mileage and other expenses related to your case. Others are fee-based and charge a flat fee for services.

At Skidmore & Associates, we offer both fee structures. We are available 24/7 by appointment for free client consultations, and always conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine which of our services you need and to ensure we will add substantial value to your case.

If you have additional questions about where to hire a private investigator, or how to find a good PI firm, visit our FAQs or connect with us directly. Skidmore & Associate offices are in Rock Hill and Myrtle Beach, and we’re available any time by appointment. Let’s uncover the truth.

At Truth Investigations, our team of private investigators in Australia always use ethical and legal means to gather evidence. There are many reasons for hiring a Private Investigator. Although one of the most popular rationales is to catch a cheating spouse, some people use our services to identify insurance fraud and employee fraud. You may also want to turn to us if you’re considering taking a new relationship to a more serious level.

Before hiring any private investigator in Australia, it’s worth learning more about what we can and cannot do. From our processes to our pricing plans, we’re happy to discuss all your queries openly and honestly right here.

What can a Private Investigator in Australia do?

Private investigators and private detectives are the same – we carry out investigations on behalf of private individuals, lawyers and corporations. Licenced private investigators in Australia are bound by state and national laws. This means we need to use our unique skills and tools to unearth information about the individual or company you want to investigate. In some cases, this means using photographic evidence to catch a person in the act. Such evidence is excellent for revealing infidelity or discovering that an employee is lying about an illness.

Using public records and our unique ability to encourage others to reveal more about themselves, we often identify when someone is telling lies. By maintaining an ethical approach to our daily practice, we ensure the evidence we reveal is admissible in court. This can act to your advantage when resolving family law matters or employment disputes.

How do your services work?

When you are ready to hire a private investigator, get in touch with us and we’ll schedule an initial meeting to discuss your case by phone. During this meeting, we’ll take the time to understand what your suspicions are and we’ll use the information you give to us as a platform for starting our work. We’ll then use one of our private investigators in your area to gather evidence that either confirms or corrects your suspicions.

What influences the cost of your private investigation services?

At Truth Private Investigators, we work hard to ensure our quotes are always transparent. The overall cost of your case will depend on the amount of work that’s involved and the equipment we need to use. Thanks to our experience in performing investigations, we’re able to provide accurate quotes once we’ve discussed the details of your case.

Do you have questions for us?

As private investigators in Australia, we know our clients often feel as though our business is shrouded in secrecy! At the same time, we want to ensure you feel confident in using our services. If you have any questions for us, please get in touch and we’ll provide you with a full and detailed answer below.

How to hire a private investigator

Private investigators can be used in a variety of situations to find out information that would otherwise stay hidden. Hiring a private investigator can help put your mind at ease and they can help you incircumstances where you wouldn’t know where to start.

Private investigators can be used to trace people, catch out a cheating partner, gather evidence of fraud and can even help in criminal investigations. In this article, we will take a look at 5 reasons you may turn to a private investigator. If you want to see how much a private investigator costs view our latest article.

Tracking a person

You may want to track a person to make sure they are safe, or you could be tracking a partner to make sure they are being faithful. Businesses may also want to track their vechicles incase of theft or if they suspect their vechicles are being used outside of the companies fair usage policies.

Whatever the reason for wanting to track a person a private detective can help set it up for you without the other person knowing. These trackers can be set up for long term usage and updates can be provided in real-time through Apple and Google Maps.

GPS tracking is very useful in cases where you may suspect a cheating partner as it’s very easy to prove the person was not where they say they were at a given time. The trackers are very powerful and can usually pin point a persons location within a few feet.

Fraud Investigations

Private investigators can help individuals and businesses in cases where fraud may have occured. A private investigator can review documents, and conduct surveillance to see if any type of fraud is occuring such as auto insurance, healthcare fraud and homeowners fraud.

For businesses a CEO may look to retain a private investigation firm to prevent embezzlement or to conduct background checks on employees to stop the business from hiring someone who has been sued for fraud in the past.

Sweeping for bugs

Individuals and businesses are often targeted for espionage and private investigators can conduct thorough bug sweeps to keep your information private.

A competitor or unsavoury person may try to get access to your private information to either get a competitive advantage of your company or to use this information to blackmail you at a later date.

You may think that bugs are planted only in movies but it’s more common than you may realise. Quite often bugs are found in hotel rooms and boardrooms up and down the country. By hiring a private investigator to sweep for bugs you have a better chance of keeping your information private.

People tracing

Finding lost relatives can be a difficult process and without the right level of training, it’s almost impossible. Most people may turn to Facebook to search for distant relatives but after nothing shows up they don’t know where to turn.

Sometimes people don’t want to get in contact with these lost relatives but just want to know that they are safe and doing ok. A private investigator can help you in these circumstances and can help you track down family members or friends that you haven’t seen in years.

Process Serving

If you have a law firm and need documents delivered to a defendant usualy a private detective is used to serve these documents, this is known as a process server.

The main job of a process server is to let someone know they are in the process of a legal case. Tracking these people down can sometimes be difficult and can take up time, however with the right tools a private investigator can track and serve documents in a prompt and professional manner.

Process serving can differ company to company but it’s worth noting that you should hire a private investigation firm that has legal knowledge and understands the procedure chain. At Covert Investigations LTD we were founded by two ex police officers and all of our private investigators are members of The Association of British Investigators so we got you covered there.

Background Checks

As mentioned above in the section mentioning fraud cases, private investigators can help businesses and individuals conduct background checks.

Although most people leave a trail online these days that can be found through a Google search the information that can’t be found this way is often the information a person or company would want to uncover.

For businesses hiring the wrong person who may have criminal convictions, could have been involved in fraud or could have lied about their qualifications and work history this could have profound effects on the business, both from a reputation point of view and a monetary one.

For individuals who are hiring a person to look after a vulnerable person such as a child or a grand parent, background checks could give you troubling information about that person which could keep your family safe. On the other hand a background check may not show any flags and can give you a piece of mind that your family members are in capable hands.


Above are some of the common reasons in which you would hire a private investigator, but there are many other reasons which are not covered above. If your situation doesn’t involve any of the above please speak to us as we have been proviging investigations for many years and have been asked to carry out investigations that even surprised us.

You can contact us here or use the chat functionality for any questions you may have.