How To Choose A Private Investigator

Finding a reliable private investigator can be tricky. With so many options available, it’s hard to know who you can trust and which one is right for your needs. AGB Investigative can help guide you through the process of selecting a good PI by outlining key considerations that should factor into your decision-making process. 


Understanding Your Private Investigator Needs

The first step in choosing the best PI for you is understanding what type of services they offer. Not all PIs are created equal; some specialize in certain types of investigations, such as corporate espionage or criminal defense cases.  Ask yourself what you need from the investigator; do you require surveillance services? Or are you looking for someone who specializes in forensics and document analysis? Knowing what type of investigation is needed will help narrow down available options.


When choosing a private investigator or private investigation agency, it’s important to consider their areas of expertise. Many investigators specialize in certain types of cases and may not be able to handle all types of investigations. It’s important to research each potential candidate before committing to make sure their skill set matches up with your expectations. 


If you’re searching for an individual investigator, look at their website or ask them directly about their experience with different kinds of cases. They should have knowledge about how laws apply to your case and any relevant investigative techniques that could help resolve it. Additionally, if they’ve worked on similar cases before, they’ll likely have insights into potential solutions based on past experiences.


It can also be helpful to review the credentials of a particular detective; this will give you an idea as to whether they are qualified and experienced enough to work on your case. Look for certifications from professional associations like the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) or specific licenses granted by local law enforcement agencies. All these factors should be taken into account when selecting a private investigator who is right for you.


Private Investigation Agency Reputation and Reviews

You should also take the time to think about reputation and reviews when selecting a private investigator. The best way to determine the quality of service provided by an agency or individual is through word-of-mouth referrals from people who’ve had personal experiences with them. Ask friends, family members, colleagues, or anyone you know that has hired a PI before for their opinion on their experience.


Also be sure to do your own research online. Reputable investigators should have websites where they list their services and provide information about themselves as well as customer testimonials. Additionally, many sites offer unbiased reviews written by customers who’ve used the investigator’s services in the past. Take these into account before making any decisions so you can get an accurate picture of just how reputable the agency is.


Talk to lawyers who specialize in criminal law or personal injury lawsuits as well – they often work closely with PIs and can give you valuable advice. Reach out to professional organizations such as investigative associations, trade groups, and other relevant agencies that could help connect you to a licensed PI. You should also consider researching online reviews of local investigators before making your decision.


Lastly, check out industry associations such as The World Association of Detectives which provides resources including lists of PIs worldwide and other useful tips for finding a credible company or individual for your investigative needs. Doing all this will ensure you make the right choice and hire a qualified professional whose services are reliable and trustworthy.

PI Qualifications

Once you have determined what type of investigation services you need, and checked the reputation of your potential private investigator, it is important to consider the qualifications and training of a private investigator or private investigation firm. A qualified private investigator should possess certain skills that are necessary to successfully complete an investigation, such as surveillance techniques, interviewing tactics and other investigative methods. They must also be familiar with local laws in order to remain compliant when conducting investigations.


It is recommended that you check the credentials and certifications of any potential investigators before making your decision. Look for those who specialize in the particular area of investigation that you require and research their background thoroughly. Look into any specialized skills or experience they may possess that could benefit your case. 


There are many organizations that offer certification programs for investigators, so make sure they have completed one or more such courses. Also, find out if they are certified by an accredited agency such as the International Association of Private Investigators (IAPI). Additionally, investigate whether there have been any complaints filed against them with professional bodies like IAPI or local law enforcement authorities.


Be sure to look into an investigator’s credentials before hiring them. Confirm their qualifications by asking for proof of licensing and insurance coverage. This will ensure that they adhere to all laws governing their practice in your state or region. 


Before signing with a private investigator, request references from past clients and ask about their experience working with them. Speak with former clients to get an idea of how reliable the investigator was during their investigation, how quickly results were reported back to them and if there were any issues during the process.


Private Investigation Licensing

When looking to hire a private investigator, it’s important to make sure that they are properly licensed. Depending on the jurisdiction, private investigators may require different types of licensing and/or certification. For instance, some states have specific licensing requirements for individuals who want to become certified as a private investigator. Additionally, in certain jurisdictions, there may be additional regulations or restrictions regarding what type of work an individual is allowed to do while working as a private investigator.


It’s also important to check with each state’s department of consumer affairs or other local regulatory body to determine if any special licenses are required before being hired as a private investigator. Some states may also require continuing education credits or refresher courses throughout the year in order to stay current on industry trends and remain compliant with applicable laws and regulations.


Therefore, it’s essential for anyone considering hiring a private investigator to ensure that all necessary credentials are met prior to engaging their services. Doing so will help protect both parties from potential legal ramifications should anything go wrong during the course of their investigation.

By taking the time to evaluate all relevant information regarding a potential investigator, you can ensure that you select one with the right qualifications and experience to meet your specific needs.

Confidentiality Agreements

When choosing a private investigator, it is important to ensure that they have confidentiality agreements in place. A confidentiality agreement should be signed before any investigation begins and outlines the terms of how sensitive information will be handled. This ensures that all parties are aware of their rights and obligations when it comes to protecting confidential material.


It is also worth confirming with your chosen investigator what measures they take to maintain confidentiality during an investigation. This can include taking steps such as keeping written records securely stored or only discussing cases in secure locations. All investigations must adhere to local laws surrounding privacy and data protection, so make sure you discuss this with your investigator beforehand.


To protect both yourself and the investigator, having clear boundaries outlined by a confidentiality agreement is essential for any investigative work undertaken on your behalf. Be sure to ask questions about the details of these agreements before committing to any services offered by a private investigator.


Inquire about the investigator’s communication methods too; this can help determine how often you’ll receive updates on progress. It’s wise to confirm whether reports will be kept confidential or shared with third parties either in writing or verbally. 


Cost Considerations

When considering a private investigator, it’s important to factor in the cost. Private investigators typically charge an hourly rate that can change depending on experience and location. It’s best to get quotes from multiple PIs before deciding which one is the right fit for you.


In addition to their normal fee, some PIs also charge additional fees or require retainer agreements up front. Ask your potential PI if they have any extra costs associated with their services so you’re not surprised by any hidden expenses later down the line.


It’s essential to make sure that you understand what you’ll be getting in exchange for the money that you pay. Make sure to ask questions about their qualifications, methods of investigation, and expected timeline for delivering results. Knowing this information upfront will help ensure that you are making an informed decision when selecting a private investigator who meets your needs at an affordable price point.  Lastly, make sure that you’re comfortable communicating openly with the PI throughout the process; this is crucial for building trust and getting accurate information.




Now that you’ve gone through the steps of researching how to choose a private investigator, it’s important to remember some key points. Make sure they have the necessary qualifications and experience in your area of need. Do your homework by reading reviews and asking for references. Check on credentials and licensing.  Finally, make sure both parties sign off on confidentiality agreements before any work is done. With thoughtful consideration and research, you’ll be able to find someone who fits all your criteria and is qualified for the job.


Finding the right private investigator doesn’t have to be difficult; just take into account what you’re looking for and do some research beforehand. Gather as much information as possible from multiple sources to ensure you understand exactly what services they provide and at what cost. When done correctly, this process will help lead you to making an informed decision about which professional best suits your individual needs.

AGB Investigations offers professional private investigation services featuring licensed, experienced private investigators. Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

private investigator

Related Posts

How Much Does Hiring a Security Company Cost

How Much Does Hiring a Security Company Cost

If you’re considering hiring a security guard, you’ll first want to know what kind of guarding solutions are right for your situation. You may pay as little as $20 per hour for an entry-level security guard, or you may pay more than $100 per hour for a highly trained and credentialed security professional. The […]

Integrated Guarding: the Future of Security is Here

Integrated Guarding: the Future of Security is Here

The security industry is big business. More than 8,000 firms employ some 800,000 security officers in the United States, according to Security Magazine. If your organization needs to improve its security, where do you start to find the right partner? You need experience, superior service, and affordability. Technology is a key consideration, too. Advances over […]

private investigator