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  Gilbertson Investigations

Thinking About Hiring A Private Investigator? Know What To Look For.
By: David Almeida

If you've been thinking about hiring a private investigator, it's important to know what you should be looking for – especially if it's something that you have never done before.

No matter why you are looking for a private investigator, you should always be sure that the private investigator is licensed. It seems as though this would go without saying, but it's an essential step nonetheless. Not only does having a license show that the private investigator is registered with the state, but it also indicates a level of professionalism that is not always found, particularly if you hire an investigation service over the internet.

When a private investigator is licensed, he or she should be able to provide you with documentation of that license and you will be able to rest assured that the information that you receive is accurate. Many licensed private investigators are also bonded – which provides you with an additional assurance that you will get the information that you are paying for.

Bonding, however, should not be confused with whether or not a private investigator is insured. Because a private investigator will be working your case, there's a good chance that they will be doing some work outside of their office. You'll want to be sure that he or she is insured in the event that damage occurs to another person's property while the private investigator is working on your behalf.

The more experienced a private investigator is, the more likely it will be that he or she is prepared to show that he or she is licensed, bonded and insured and may even offer documentation to you. But how can you be sure that a private investigator has experience?

The best way to determine a private investigator's experience is to ask. If you are looking for someone to conduct surveillance, ask whether or not the private investigator you are talking with has that experience. If you're looking for someone who is able to conduct background checks or asset searches, ask questions about what experience he or she has with those services.

In addition to making sure that a private investigator has the necessary qualifications to be in business and the experience required to perform the job, the next step is to ask the private investigator to sign a contract. That way, both you and the private investigator will know the details of the job as it is to be performed – whether or not background checks will be conducted, whether or not surveillance will take place – and the cost of having it completed.

A reputable private investigator will have no problems with signing a contract; in fact, he or she may already have a contract prepared that can be completed with the specific information about the job at hand, whatever it may be.

You may never meet with your private investigator in order to get the job done. Still, it is important to choose someone with whom you can communicate well. Ask the questions you have. Make sure the private investigator is qualified and licensed and get everything in writing.

When you do, you can be sure that you are getting the services that you need – regardless of why you are hiring a private investigator.

About the author: David Almeida is a licensed private investigator with a degree in criminal justice. He is affiliated with the National Association of Investigative Specialists and the Licensed Private Detective’s Association of Massachusetts. For more information visit

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