Background Check Companies

Choosing the right service in a competitive market of background check companies can be an overwhelming task. Lucky for you, our experts handpicked the industry’s best. Our guide also lists the different screening types alongside tips on finding the best background check website for you.

Company Size

Company Size

Freelancer

2-9

10-24

25-49

50-99

100-249

250+

Undisclosed

Hourly Rate

Hourly Rate

$0-$24

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$149

$150-$199

$200+

Undisclosed

Min. Project Size

Min. Project Size

Undisclosed

$1.000

$5.000

$10.000

$25.000

$50.000

$100.000

$500.000

12 Leading Background Check Services

Spokeo

Spokeo joined the market in 2006 as a social network aggregator and evolved into a search engine two years later. This company gives users access to 130 million property, 6 billion consumer, and 600 million court records. With Spokeo, you also get access to over 120 social networks and 89 million business records. The service generates detailed reports within seconds. See profile
Service focus

Personal Details

Social Media Accounts

Location History

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

100-249

United States

SterlingNOW

Sterling prides itself on its people-first approach and fast turnaround times. This is one of the longest-standing criminal background check companies, founded back in 1975. SterlingNOW is the company's small business solution for fast and extensive results. This product is FCRA compliant with the and NAPBS accredited. SterlingNOW generates over 100 million screenings a year. See profile
Service focus

General Screening

Verifications

Identity & Biometrics

Drug & Health Screening

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

250+

United States

AccurateNow

Founded in 1997, Accurate Background is a renowned background screening service with 24/7 support. The brand released AccurateNow for small businesses that need fast and affordable background checks. This is a self-service tool for employers that run fewer than 100 screenings a year. See profile
Service focus

Business Intelligence

Criminal Background Checks

Verifications

Global Searches

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

250+

United States

BackgroundChecks.com

BackgroundChecks.com was founded in 1999 and is currently among the leading background check companies for landlords, employers, and individuals. The brand analyzes over 650 million criminal records and 20 million photos. BackgroundChecks.com guarantees a quick search process, instant results, and easy-to-understand reports. See profile
Service focus

Criminal Background Checks

Employment Verification

Education & Reference Verification

Credit Reports

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

25-49

United States

Instant Checkmate

Founded in 2010, Instant Checkmate brings the power of information to your desktop and mobile device. Thousands of Americans use the company's services every day to track criminal records, sex offenders, and inmates. Instant Checkmate is among the largest Public Records Search Services globally. It provides easy-to-read reports with data from multiple sources. See profile
Service focus

Charitable Contributions

Sex Offender Database

Inmate Search

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

InfoMart

InfoMart has a strong portfolio that includes over 45 industry awards, over 30 years of experience, and an FCRA certification. This platform helps employers to hire better and faster thanks to its full suite of screening services. InfoMart has solutions for businesses of different sizes and in various industries. The brand prides itself on its innovative and intuitive technology. See profile
Service focus

Social Media Search

SSN Tracing

Criminal History

Verifications

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

TruthFinder

Established in 2014, TruthFinder is among the best-rated background screening companies. The brand boasts over 95,000 five-star reviews and thousands of happy customers. TruthFinder enables users to run fast and reliable background screenings by themselves via desktop and mobile devices. See profile
Service focus

People Search

Dark Web Scan

Public Records

Background Check

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Asurint

Asurint has been providing background screening solutions since 2004. The company offers a variety of background check services for small businesses and enterprises. The firm enables employers to adapt the product to their needs by selecting just the reports they want. See profile
Service focus

Drug Testing

Civil Background Checks

Criminal Background Checks

SSN Searches

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

50-99

United States

BeenVerified

BeenVerified was founded in 2007 in New York City. The brand has helped over 1,000,000 people over the years with their 7 Products in One solution. BeenVerified is available on the go, and its mobile iOS and Android apps have been downloaded over 7,000,000 times already. This brand helps customers reconnect, run personal screenings, and make better decisions. See profile
Service focus

People Search

Public Records

Arrest Records

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

25-49

United States

Laborchex

If you're looking for excellent full-service background check companies, Laborchex is a great place to start. This platform first popped on the map in 1991 and has since become a well-known name on the market. It serves a myriad of industries, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Criminal background checks and employment screenings are just some of the services in the company’s catalog. See profile
Service focus

Criminal Background Searches

Employment Screening Searches

Healthcare Screening Services

Verification Services

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

25-49

United States

GoodHire

GoodHire is a flexible and reliable employee screening service. As one of the leading background investigation companies, GoodHire has helped over 80,000 employers to run comprehensive screenings. About 78% of the company's customers claim that GoodHire is easier to use than competitors. The brand offers solutions for businesses of any size and in numerous industries. See profile
Service focus

Employee Screening

Identity Checks

Verifications

International Checks

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

100-249

United States

AmericanChecked

Founded in 2004, AmericanChecked is a renowned screening agency with a revenue of $21 million. It focuses on providing detailed, accurate, and instant background checks. This company boasts a 98% customer satisfaction rate and a client retention rate that exceeds 99%. Some other checks offered by the agency include drug and alcohol tests, driving history, and bespoke services. See profile
Service focus

Civil & Criminal Records

Fingerprinting

Credit Reports

Verification & Reference Services

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

25-49

United States

How We Evaluated Background Check Companies

With millions of background checks conducted every year, the market for this type of service is undoubtedly a lucrative one. Not every firm in the industry, however, deserves your time and money. Finding a reputable background check company can be an overwhelming task unless you use our expert advice.

We do thorough research and have a strict ranking methodology in place. Below, you can find out more about our evaluation process. Plus, you will understand how we tested and picked the top brands from an extensive list of background check companies.

Company's Reputation

New brands appear on the market all the time. While some of them are trustworthy, we still prefer background checks for employers and individuals provided by reputable services that have been operating for years. Another thing we never overlook is the company's reputation and reviews. If there are hundreds of customers vouching for a service, that's a good sign that we can trust it too.

Compliance

Running a screening for yourself or a long-lost friend can be done through multiple background check firms. When you do this as an employer, however, you want an FCRA compliant background check. Otherwise, you may end up being in trouble with the law.

That's why we appreciate services that are compliant with both the FCRA and the EEOA. These companies are familiar with the regulations and any recent changes. So, using their services gives you peace of mind that everything is done legally and by the book.

Report Scope and Accuracy

Not all services have the same report quality and accuracy. We understand and accept that background check services for landlords, for example, may lack some types of checks necessary to employers. Still, we appreciate it when a background checking company covers a wide variety of aspects. The more reports you can get from a single company, the better. This saves you both money and time.

Accuracy is, naturally, another essential feature of the brands that promise the best background checks for employers. From updated personal information to the latest offenses, the checks need to include up-to-date details. We give better rankings to services whose comprehensive background check reports include the latest information from reliable sources.

Ease of Use

The best background check services are easy to use and have straightforward platforms. Even first-time users should have no issues to understand how to request a report. We appreciate brands whose online products require filling out a few fields and then generate comprehensive reports. Anything that has complex procedures can make customers feel suspicious of the service. Not to mention, it’s overwhelming. That's why simplicity always gets extra points from our team of reviewing experts.

Mobile App

It's the 21st century, and people are constantly on the move. Business owners don't always have the time to be in their office to complete tasks. That's why the employee background check services with a mobile application get better rankings here. Being able to request and receive reports straight to your smartphone is a huge benefit.

Customer Care and Resources

Since background screenings are a sensitive topic, it's vital for those that offer them to provide reliable support and resources. The employer background check service you choose should be there for you whenever you need their assistance. What we respect here, therefore, is prompt customer care service and useful resources.

Our top background check sites have comprehensive guides on how to use their services.  So, even if this is your first time requesting a screening, you can understand the process and what to expect. Online guides, booklets, and video tutorials are all more than welcome.

Pricing

Overpaying doesn't guarantee quality, just like underpaying doesn't necessarily mean you will save money in the long run. We dislike unnecessarily expensive services, just like we don't appreciate cheap options that don't get the job done. We believe the smartest choice for our readers is background checking companies whose pricing aligns with the industry average.

Our team gives better rankings to services that provide good value for your money. Meaning, you pay a reasonable price to get the best background check for your investment. This criterion applies to both services that offer single reports and to subscription-based companies.

Types of Background Check Services

There are various types of background checks. Some of them include overlapping information, as various categories cover several different aspects of a person's history. There is a full criminal background check, for example. This information is, however, usually included in employment screening, too. Some of the services listed here offer multiple types of checks, while others specialize in just one or two.

So, it's essential to understand the different kinds of screenings offered by background check sites and firms before choosing the right employee background check company. Below, we will go over the most common types of background checks and when to use them.

Criminal Background Check

This type of check includes the screening of national criminal databases, federal and state criminal records, and country criminal courts. Criminal searches also analyze sex offender registries, domestic and global watch lists, warrants, and incarceration records. The best background check companies enable you to conduct a full analysis of someone's criminal background. Other services cover only a few aspects, which are enough depending on how in-depth of a report you need.

Employment Background Check

This is the most common type of screening that employers go for when hiring new workers. A background check for employment covers various fields of interest. Some of those include criminal records, medical history, driving record, credit history, and drug screening. Work history, employer verification, social media use, and even gaming history are additional reports employers can get. Naturally, specialized employment background check companies offer all these reports, while universal services have them as separate analyses.

Please note that certain industries have specific employee background check requirements that employers must perform before onboarding new workers. Healthcare, education, financial services, and legal jobs, for instance, require extensive professional background check reports. If you fail to run these screenings, you may be responsible for negligent hiring.

Social Security Number Trace

In a country with over 3.2 million identity theft and fraud reports, tracing the SSN is a must. This is a simple report that verifies the identity and the address history of your candidate. SSN tracing conducted by background check websites provides a list of all names, aliases, and addresses associated with that SSN. Please note that it's illegal to use this information to make employment decisions. SSN tracing, instead, serves the single purpose to verify the candidate's true identity and place of residence.

Education and Employer Verification

Lengthy professional biographies and impressive success stories look great. How can you know, however, that everything an applicant has written in their CV is right? Unfortunately, there've been many cases when future employees didn't have the education or skills listed in their biographies. In a world where 'fake it till you make it' is a thing, employers must be careful with their future hires. 

That's when education and employer verification services of pre-employment screening companies enter the picture. These reports verify whether the candidate attended the education institutions and holds the degrees in their biographies. They also go the extra mile to verify employment history and references.

Universal Background Check

These are standard background checks run through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). Universal screenings aren't usually the first choice of employers, and firearm shops mostly use them. You will get information on criminal convictions, misdemeanors, open arrest warrants, and domestic violence convictions in such a report.

Personal Background Check

Personal background check companies let individuals discover what future employers will see in their reports. Depending on where you do the personal background check, it can be possible to get various screenings. In most cases, you can perform an SSN trace and check whether your name appears in the offender databases. Personal screenings are essential to discover any errors that could have grave consequences if not resolved. Such a mistake, for example, could cost you a job or a loan.

Business Background Check

Not all screenings focus on people; there are background check companies for individuals that provide searches on business too. On the market, there have been scam companies that operate without permits or licenses. There have also been businesses established to commit fraud. So, future employees need protection more than ever too. That's why you can conduct a background check for employers and discover lots of useful details. Some of these include legal status, history, creditworthiness, necessary permits and licenses, and ongoing legal proceedings.

International Background Check

In the digital nomads' era, companies often have potential hires who live or have lived in foreign countries. That's when you need background check companies to run an international screening of the person of interest. What does such a report include? Well, think of international criminal records, education verification, and employer verification. Every country has individual regulations for such documents, so the process price and duration may vary.

Other Common Types of Background Checks

While the ones explained above are the most common types of screenings, there are a few other options, too. Depending on your needs, you may end up needing one of these. Please note that only the best background check sites provide such reports as they aren't as common.

Credit History Background Check

Just like a standard credit score report that shows the various aspects of a person's credit history, it includes credit utilization, late payments history, and more.

Driving Record Check

For specific jobs, it's essential to know the candidate's driving history. Driving record reports, therefore, provide information on traffic accidents, points, license status, DUIs, and other traffic violations.

Tenant Screening

A tool for landlords to check their potential tenants and their history. Reports from tenant background check services typically include credit reports, past landlord verification, and criminal records.

License Verification

Certain professions like home contractors, financial advisors, and educators, require an active license. A license verification screening checks whether the person has an active license that's in good standing. It also discovers any violations or restrictions associated with that specific license.

Childcare Background Check

Jobs in education and childcare require this type of professional background check. Such reports typically provide details on child abuse and neglect history, along with federal and state sex offender history. The standard criminal background check and fingerprints check also fall within its scope.

Are Background Checks Legal?

Before you seek the services of background check websites and companies, you should understand how and when you can use such screenings. The USA has strict laws about what information employers can and cannot use when deciding whether to offer candidates a job.

As an employer, you can ask and collect details about the following things:

  • Employment history
  • Education
  • Criminal record
  • Financial history
  • Social media use
  • Medical history (in some cases)

The process must be identical for all applicants. You mustn't discriminate against them based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, and more. Moreover, before you use the services of the best background check websites listed here, you must inform the employee about this. If you want to base your decision on the report results, you must ask for written permission from the candidate.

Let's say that the information from an employer background check results in preventing the employer from hiring, retaining, or promoting the candidate. In this situation, the employer must provide a copy of the screening alongside a Summary of Rights document. The employer must also provide contact details of the best background check site that generated the report.

What Cannot Be Included in a Background Screening Report?

Some background check agencies give false promises and include illegal information in their background check reports. So, how can you protect yourself and your business from complaints with the FTC and the EEOC? The first step is to understand what information can’t be included in the screening reports you receive. You can neither have access to such details nor use them when deciding whether to offer someone a job.

  • Civil judgments, civil suits, records of arrests after seven years from the date of the report.
  • Bankruptcies after ten years from the report date.
  • Accounts placed for collections after seven years after the report date.
  • Paid tax liens after seven years after the report date.
  • Any other negative details aside from criminal convictions after seven years after the report date.

The best background check service for employers would be aware of and follow these rules.

Tips for Background Check Services Selection

Finding the right service goes beyond picking the first-rated option on our list. Every company has different pricing and provides specific services. This may be confusing and overwhelming to people who need to run a background check for the first time. That's why we created a comprehensive guide on how to choose the best background check service for your needs. Follow our simple steps, and you will have your winner in no time.

Define What You Need

The number one mistake is not knowing what type of service you need. Different background check companies have different screening types and processes. Their coverage and record base can differ as well. One vendor can offer a simple employment background check, while another can cover arrest records, sex offenses, and even bankruptcies. You may need only one or all of the abovementioned reports. It's essential to decide what you want to define what type of employee background checks you need. Only then can you move on to the next step, which is more about your business and industry.

Focus on Vendors With Relevant Experience

Background check vendors often specialize in certain types of screening. It's smart to stick to the ones with experience in your industry. Some federal laws and regulations require specific background checks for particular jobs. Education, healthcare, and financial services are to name a few such industries. An experienced background check company will guide you through the process and ensure all regulations are respected. Such a vendor can even provide reliable support and relevant advice when you need it the most.

Define Your Budget

It's vital to know how much you are willing to invest in this. Some background check companies charge per report, while others have monthly subscriptions. Using some of the services also comes with a one-time setup fee. Meaning, if you need only a single screening, then getting an annual subscription and paying setup fees won't make sense. If you, in contrast, screen lots of employees and need numerous reports, a subscription-based offer is a smart move. Invest the time to define your budget and focus on companies with reliable background screening deals within that price range.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far back do most background checks go?

You should know that the reports from background check services for employers don't include the entire history of the candidate. Bankruptcies that happened ten years before the date of the report won't be included there. Pre-employment checks further cover the past seven years, just like credit history checks, civil suits, tax liens, and other negative information. Depending on the state, driving and criminal records may go back between three and ten years. Professional licenses, employment history, and educational history, however, allow lifetime verification.

What do companies use for background checks?

When screening possible hires, companies need several types of background check reports. Employers can file requests in federal and state agencies for separate reports on criminal history and civil records. However, this process is so time-consuming, and often you may miss out on obtaining essential information. That's why companies these days use the services of established background check providers like the ones listed above. These websites provide in-depth and accurate reports on various points of interest within a few clicks.

What is the best background check for employment?

This depends on the type of job you are offering. Most professions require a basic employment background check. In such a report, you will find details on criminal, financial, and medical history, as well as employment verification. The best online background check reports include additional data like drug screenings, SSN tracing, and education verification. As for what service to use, all of the brands listed on this page are top background check websites. Instant Checkmate, BeenVerified, and TruthFinder are leading services on the market. If you want a full-service solution, then consider Laborchex.

Can I run my own employment background check?

Yes, of course. Doing this is even recommended as it will help you spot and fix any mistakes. Reports often include errors that could cost you possible employment. You can request reports from federal and state authorities or use the services of the top background check companies. GoodHire, Instant Checkmate, and BeenVerified are all trusted sources of background screening reports.

Are online background checks accurate?

Whether the information on a personal or business background check is accurate depends on the sources used. The best criminal background check reports include details from official federal, state, and county sources. When providing international information, they also gather data from reliable national sources. Please note that not all databases are updated regularly. Meaning, some information may be missing in a background check. So, it's vital to use reliable background check companies that know how and where to collect accurate data.