How Do You Hire a Private Investigator?

how do you hire a private investigator

There are a lot of reasons you might need to hire a private investigator. Whether you need to find out about a spouse or employee, track a missing person, trace an outstanding debt, or something else, a private investigator can get to the bottom of it in a professional and discreet manner. The first step to your investigation is finding and choosing the right private investigator. You’ll want to learn about a private investigator, including their experience and their private investigator fees, before you make a commitment to use their services.

Get recommendations

New York private investigator, Darrin Giglio, advises: “One way to start your search for a private investigator is to ask those you trust if they have worked with one they could recommend. You might find that a friend has used a private investigator for a business investigation, or that a colleague has used one for a personal issue. You can also speak to local police, sheriffs, or attorneys. All of these professionals might have a few names of investigators they think highly of and would be happy to recommend. If you are unsure about approaching anyone in this manner, you can look at online directories of professional bodies.”



Do your own investigation

Once you have a few names, it is time to do your own investigation of the investigators. This should involve ensuring that they are properly licensed for the work you want undertaken. Licensing varies from state to state, so be sure that an investigator is licensed where you need them to work. If your investigation is likely to cross state lines, they may need to be fully licensed in both states. You should also get an idea of the type of work they specialize in.


Some private investigators will focus on financial matters, while others mostly take on domestic or infidelity cases. You’ll want to find an investigator with plenty of experience in cases similar to yours, as this will ensure that they have the right contacts to complete the investigation. Here again, you can check with professional bodies and local law enforcement to confirm that the private investigator you are considering is reliable and experienced. In many cases, experience can count for a lot when it comes to a successful investigation.



Meet the private investigator

One of the most important steps in finding a private investigator is to have a meeting with them. Having a good rapport with your investigator is essential, as you will likely need to give them confidential or personal information for them to complete their work.  It is recommended that you only work with investigators who have an office, as this can give you reassurance that they are a professional you can trust and find easily. When you meet with an investigator, you can get a good idea of what they are like by their office, too.


If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular private investigator, don’t feel bad about choosing to work with another one. Like any professional relationship, you need to be happy with your ability to work with them.  It is also possible that a private investigator will decide they don’t want to take on your case.  When you have your initial meeting with a private investigator, be ready to tell them what you need investigated.  This is the time to ask them the important questions.  This will help them determine if they can help you, or if you should work with one of their colleagues.



Set the terms of the investigation

When you have narrowed down your potential private investigators, it is important to ensure they can provide exactly what you need. If you need them to testify in court, make sure you check that they will be willing to do this. Some investigators prefer to provide information but will not want to appear as a witness in a trial.  You should also confirm what fees they will charge you for their services. Get a quote in writing, and be sure to confirm what is and is not included in that price.


This will help you compare different investigators, as one will include items in their fee that another will charge you extra for on your final bill.  After agreeing on the terms of the investigation, including any time frame or deadline that you have, you can have your investigator begin work on your case. Hiring a private investigator can take a bit of work, but knowing that you have made the right choice when deciding on a professional private investigator will make the process worthwhile.



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