How to find a private investigator is a common question. If you’re already having troubles with domestic abuse, stalking, harassment or divorce then there’s no doubt that it’s already a stressful situation that you’re in and it might even be hard to trust people right now. Like any professional service, you need to ask the right questions. Here’s what we suggest when trying to choose the right private investigator

Are they licensed and insured?

One of the first things you should do to find the right private investigator is to check whether or not they have a license and insurance. 

Check your state private investigator license databases by visiting your state website. Every one will have a way to find this out but you could also speak to the local police department. If they’ve been investigating a while, they are sure to be known by law enforcement.

Liability insurance for private investigation work is a must-have so be sure to see their coverage. Unlicensed and uninsured investigators will not be a good idea.

What is their previous experience?

When trying to find the right investigator to help you, make sure you can find out all you can about past jobs or clients. Make sure to choose a company or individual with an extensive amount of experience. First hand recommendations are always best but make sure you look for reviews online and ask around. If you are able to find out what former clients are saying about an investigator, that will help give you peace of mind that you are choosing the right person for the job.

Do they have court appearance experience?

It’s vital that the right person gives the right evidence on your behalf. What you are involved in now might not look like it’s going to court, but things can change. Check from the beginning if they’ve given evidence in court. You could look up the court case to see their involvement and the type of evidence they submitted.

What services do they provide?

Before going out to search for a private investigator, you have to know what type of services you need. The type of case you have will determine which of the investigators in your area you need to hire. You can find a list of private investigators in our directory. It’s important to make sure that they really do carry out the work you need. These could be things like;

  • child custody investigations
  • domestic dispute investigations
  • background checks
  • employee fraud investigations
  • find missing persons
  • asset searches

What are they going to charge?

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.

Be sure to check things like if the expenses are on top, how they take payment, if they want it all up front or instalments? Ask if it is a flat fee or hourly rate. 

Be sure to check that they will sign a contract upfront detailing the services to be performed and the estimated costs.

Search our directory for private investigators near you

Are you a private investigator? Would you like to support us by placing a listing? Your payment goes toward providing our PRESERVED app people experiencing domestic abuse for free.


PRESERVED is the app that helps people get the proof they need for things like domestic abuse, divorce, harassment, bullying and more. Download it for free here.

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