How much does a background investigation cost … or … what are the fees for a background investigation?

This, of course, is always one of the first questions someone has when they are considering paying for a background investigation.

The short answer is a background investigation can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Or if you want to conduct a background investigation like the FBI does, it will cost you several hundred thousand dollars.

What you may need is something in between the various $19.95 online services and the several-hundred-thousand-dollar background investigation.

You want something that will give you peace of mind—in-depth, nonbiased, fact-based information that does not compromise accuracy.

As with any service, the more involved the project (in terms of both time and expenses), the more it is going to cost. And also as with any service, neither the cheapest nor the most expensive company is always the best choice.

Here are some general cost guidelines:

Red Flag Background Investigation ($500 to $1500)

A red flag background investigation will confirm the subject’s background information as well as highlight potential adverse information in order to help you make a more informed decision. A search of information at this level would include researching numerous proprietary databases, public records, news media and government repositories, with a focus on identifying critical red flags and warning signs of potential fraud; this information could be critical to know before you enter into a business or financial relationship, investment, or other transaction with the subject.

Professional Background Investigation ($1500 to $2500)

While a red flag background investigation is designed to identify essential adverse issues, a professional background check digs deeper into the individual’s professional history, business interests and financial status, as well as any issues relating to civil litigation and regulatory issues. A professional background investigation goes beyond online searches and includes a range of on-site court searches in the relevant jurisdictions and a detailed review of select records.

Comprehensive Background Investigation ($2500 and up)

A comprehensive background investigation gives you the most complete picture of the individual. It includes everything described above, plus additional analyses and reviews of business interests, court filings and news media appearances, as well as intelligence from sources that cannot be gained elsewhere. In addition, the comprehensive background investigation may include a review of assets and credit history (with written consent of the subject), source inquiries, asset information, and political contributions to identify conspicuous consumption warnings or close political connections.

This post is part of a series of posts titled Background Investigations 101 – What You Need To Know

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