What Should I Know Before

Hiring a Private Investigator?

Private investigative services are used by individuals and businesses for a variety of different reasons.  While these reasons may vary, investigators are sought for their knowledge, experience and resources to find an expedient and fact finding solution. 

Like most professional services, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  Therefore, it is important to know as much as you can BEFORE hiring an investigative agency to perform work for you.  The following are some tips to help you make this important decision:

  1. 1. Make Sure They Have a License - The majority of states require a private investigator (PI) to be licensed to perform investigative services.  In Pennsylvania, PI’s are licensed by county, and are under the oversight and inspection of the Office of the District Attorney.  PI’s should have documentation (whether it be a wallet card/badge or full page certificate) to verify licensure on demand- so ask for it! 

  2. 2.Make Sure They are Experienced - Find out if the investigator is experienced in the area you are hiring him or her for.  What skills are they bringing to the table that will enable them to find solutions to your case?  Do they possess prior law enforcement experience?  Do they have technical skills?  Have they testified in court?  How many cases have they handled like yours?  What was the outcome?  Do they maintain adequate insurance?  An experienced investigator can mean the difference between getting results and missing the opportunity to get the answers you are seeking.

  3. 3.Make Sure They Have a Good Reputation - Ask for references and if he or she has ever been the subject of a complaint or disciplinary action.  Does the PI represent himself or herself professionally?  A PI does not have to abide by the same attorney/client relationship regarding confidential or sensitive information.  However, a good investigator will protect the client interests, and not disclose information that would identify them (unless it was permitted in cases such as a pre-employment screening or otherwise required by law).  Also, ask if the the investigator is affiliated with any professional organizations.  A PI association or area chamber of commerce gives credibility to the PI and/or the agency.

  4. 4.Make Sure the Terms are Clear and Understood - Most investigators will have the client sign an agreement or contract prior to performing any services.  Read the document carefully and make sure you understand what you are agreeing to.  Is the agreement abnormally long or written in “legalese”?  Does it clearly spell out what you will be charged for and how much?  Does it provide a way to terminate services should you change your mind?  If so, are there any penalties or charges that would be applied?  A PI service agreement should not be more than two or three pages and written in a way that is easily read and understood by the average person. 

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Call Toll Free:  800.830.0305                                         Email:  investigative.solutions@regapi.org


Telephone:  800.830.0305

2017 Rega Investigative Group, LLC.  

A Pennsylvania Licensed and Bonded Company.