Background Checks and Searches

Background Checks and Searches

A background check is a detailed investigation into an individual’s data, information, and history. The information helps support all decision-making, from employment decisions to handgun purchases.

Who needs Background Checks?

  • Private investigators need access to online data and information to complete client investigations.
  • Small and mid-sized businesses need a service for new applicants’ employment verification, history checks, etc.
  • Individuals who want to verify a person’s history.
  • Individuals who want to run a check on themselves.

Different Types of Background Checks

A gun background check is appropriate when an individual tries to purchase a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms licenses all dealers. All gun dealers and retailers must check on the purchaser through the FBI. The buyer has to provide their ID and fill out a form known as ATF Form 4473, which collects personal information. The dealer can submit the information via phone or online and can get a response in a few minutes.

Business background checks allow you to learn about companies by performing a comprehensive search before working with them. A business check can determine if they have filed for bankruptcy, who has liens against their assets, and if they are a legally operating company. In addition, it will check for important data and information such as:

  • Business licenses
  • OSHA violations
  • Civil and criminal litigation cases
  • Credit history or credit check
  • Liens and judgments
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records (if a publicly-traded company)
  • Better Business Bureau complaints
  • Chamber of Commerce in the city
  • Consumer complaints
  • Products and services
  • Online Reputation
  • Legal status (e.g., legal registration as a partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship, etc.)
  • Industry
  • Major competitors
  • Criminal check or the owners or officers of the company

Self-checks. Proactive job seekers can use the resources below to get a copy of their reports. It is better to know what is in your report. That way, you’ll be prepared for questions from potential employers.

What is included in a typical report?

Most involve some combination of the following:

  • Identity Verification includes the individual’s first and last name, social security number, marital status, and former residence.
  • Criminal history – including criminal records, arrest records, police records, and court records. If you’re looking specifically for a police report, read the article on how to get a copy of a police report.
  • Financial / Credit History – including credit history, liens, and judgments. When the person deals with money or financial services, the company may pull a credit history report.
  • Employment History Verification includes checking work experience, resume validity, personal references, and more.
  • Verify Education History and academic credentials, degrees, diplomas, professional certifications, schools, and universities attended.
  • Driving records and driving history or DMV records check help to determine if the candidate is a responsible driver, has outstanding tickets, has a valid driver’s license, etc.