Background Check Companies

One bad employee can destroy your company. One bad personal relationship can take a toll on your life. While you can’t predict every negative event, you can at least run a background check before filling a job position in your company or getting close to someone on a personal level. In the sea of companies that claim they can check anyone for you, we scouted the best ones and put their screening abilities to the test. Here are the only background check companies that passed our rigorous selection process. 

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The Leading Companies for Background Check Services

Sterling Logo

Sterling

People First, Always.

Since 1975, Sterling has been focused on helping organizations build trust and safety for their employees, customers, and business partners. Over 40,000+ businesses globally rely on Sterling’s advanced employee background check solutions to recruit, hire, and monitor their teams. With decades of experience, expertise in dozens of industries, multiple integrations, and fast turnaround times, Sterling is one of the best employee background check providers to hire.

  • Civil and Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
GoodHire Logo

GoodHire

Simply Better. Start to Finish.

Driven by its statement to provide a “better way to do employment background checks,” GoodHire is a technology-first firm with a seamless user experience built into its DNA. Over 80,000 businesses of all sizes have already entrusted GoodHire with their employment screening needs, stating it’s the best background check service for employers due to its ease of use and speedy turnaround times.

  • Civil & Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Drug Screening
InfoMart Logo

InfoMart

Make Background Screening Easy for You & Your Applicants

Established in 1989, InfoMart is a leading background check company built on world-class customer support and responsible business practices. It offers a wide range of services and caters to dozens of industries. By blending expertise and technological innovation, InfoMart consistently ranks as the best background check website.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Sanctions Searches
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
IntelliCorp Logo

IntelliCorp

Advance Your Hiring Practices

Established in 1996, IntelliCorp is committed to continued investment in new products and technologies, superior customer care, and forward-thinking leadership. Its screening solutions cover diverse needs from pre-employment to tenant screening. The company offers one the best background checks for employers including reliable healthcare screening packages and add-ons that provide extra protection for this highly regulated industry.

  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks 
  • International Background Checks 
  • Drug Screening
Peopletrail logo

Peopletrail

Discover the Safest Hiring Trail With Peopletrail's Advanced Employment Background Checks.

Peopletrail is a premier employment screening company known for its unique Actionable Insights model. It means organizing data in the reports in a way that will further assist hiring managers in their decision-making process, all that with an industry-leading turnaround time of 1.6 days. Over 20,000+ businesses use Peopletrail as their criminal background company of choice.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Social Media Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
Verified Credentials Logo

Verified Credentials

Trusted Background Screening Since 1984.

Founded in 1984, Verified Credentials is among the leading pre-employment background check and personal background check companies known for their premium customer service and a variety of screening services. Its live support representatives take as little as five to eight seconds on average to answer. The company delivers fast and accurate results for a variety of business needs and industries.

  • Personal Background Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Healthcare Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
Accurate Logo

Accurate

Screening, optimized.

With a 98.5% client retention rate, 90% first call resolution, and a team of 1,700+ screening experts, AccurateNow is the go-to provider of background check services for small businesses. Marrying advanced processes and intelligent technology, AccurateNow provides an optimized background screening experience for both candidates and employers. Its employee background check process delivers a 99.99% accuracy rate, allowing employers to hire with peace of mind.

  • Business Intelligence
  • Employment Credit Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • International Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
AmericanChecked Logo

AmericanChecked

Through, Accurate & Easy to Use.

With a 98.1% customer satisfaction rate, variety of screening products, cutting-edge technology, and custom offerings, AmericanChecked is a reliable background screening company that offers all the pre-employment background check solutions you need in one place. Its industry-specific solutions and an extensive list of criminal background services help businesses stay ahead of the compliance curve.

  • Employment Background Checks
  • Civil & Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Employment  Credit Reports
  • Tribal Licensing
BackgrounChecks.com Logo

BackgroundChecks.com

Be Sure. Hire With Confidence.

BackgroundChecks.com is a unique platform that brings together people search services and employee background check online solutions in one place. Its self-service guide allows you to discover which employer background check service bundle is recommended for your organization. Along with pre-made packages, it allows clients to pick only the services they need, and leverage candidate self-order.

  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Personal Background Checks
  • MVR Checks
  • Drug Screening
Intelifi Logo

Intelifi

Better Background Checks.

Intelifi is both a software developer and data provider. Bringing together the best of both worlds, it offers comprehensive screening solutions, built-in compliance tools, human and AI record reviews, and seamless functionality. The firm is committed to providing the highest quality data for clients to make more informed hiring and renting decisions. More than 10,000 businesses are growing with Intelifi’s EMERGE screening platform and comprehensive background checks.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Employment Background Checks
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • MVR Records
  • Drug Screening

Checkr

More Efficient Hiring for Every Kind of Company.

Checker has been helping businesses hit their staffing goals in the competitive job market since 2014. It relies on state-of-the-art technology to deliver fast and accurate employment background check and criminal background reports. Its human resources and talent acquisition solutions help businesses across multiple industries hire the best talent at the lowest risk.

  • Employment Background Check
  • Criminal Records Check
  • MVR Records
  • Education & Professional License Verification
  • Drug and Health Screenings
PeopleFinders Logo

PeopleFinders

Slogan

Established in 1986 and boasting over 43 billion records, PeopleFinders is among the longest-standing and most reliable background check companies for individuals in the US. The firm has access to over 6,000 data sources, helping people find any information, including criminal background records for anyone, anywhere. It promises to deliver the most accurate data in the least amount of time.

  • People Searches
Instant Checkmate Logo

Instant Checkmate

The Power of Information at Your Fingertips!

Instant Checkmate has been delivering “the power of information at your fingertips” since 2010. The company has one of the most robust criminal records databases, providing detailed and accurate results. The 70,000+ five-star reviews speak volumes of the company’s reliability and accuracy and place it among the best criminal background check services.

  • People Searches
  • Criminal Records Checks
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Social Media Background Checks
Spokeo Logo

Spokeo

Know More.

Spokeo is one of the best people search websites for location history and social media info, serving 20 million customers a month, organizing 12 billion records, using thousands of sources, and responding to 500,000 searches a day. It has been delivering industry-leading reports since 2006. Whether you want to look up yourself, acquaintances, friends, or family members, the site offers various types of searches to quench your thirst for information.

  • Contact and Location Info
  • Public Records
  • Family and Personal Info
  • Wealth and Work Info
  • Criminal Records Checks
BeenVerified Logo

BeenVerified

The Everyday Information Company.

Established in 2008, BeenVerified is more than a people search company. It's a seven-products-in-one site that can unveil information like phone, email, address, username, vehicle, and unclaimed money. With unbeatable choices and high accuracy data scores, it’s the best people search engine for individuals with different accessibility needs.

  • People Searches
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Unclaimed Money
  • Vehicle Lookup
  • Criminal Records Checks
InfoTracer Logo

InfoTracer

Data Is Complicated. We Make It Easy.

With a database of over five billion records and counting, InfoTracer helps individuals and businesses make more informed decisions. It offers dozens of different searches for individuals and tailored business solutions for multiple industries. The company boasts one million satisfied customers and over 25 million completed searches.

  • People Searches
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Public Records Searches
  • Criminal Records Checks 
  • Asset Searches
Intelius Logo

Intelius

Being Informed Matters.

Intelius is a reliable place to search for people, phone numbers, criminal records, and other publicly available information. The company’s proprietary search engine Intelius Connection allows users to click on each connection and uncover more information, associations, and other sources to widen their circle of contacts.

  • People Search
  • Public Records Check
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Criminal Records Check
  • Credit Score Monitoring
Truthfinder Logo

Truthfinder

One of America’s Most Popular Public Record Search Engines.

Established in 2015, Truthfinder is one of the newest and most popular background check sites in the US. Whether you want to reconnect with lost relatives, old friends, or uncover someone’s criminal background, the site will scan hundreds of millions of public records to deliver the information you need in an instant. It boasts thousands of five-star reviews from satisfied customers.

  • People Searches
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Public Records Searches
  • Criminal Records Checks 
  • Dark Web Monitoring
ClickSearch Logo

ClickSearch

Find People Instantly with ClickSearch

ClickSearch is the newest addition to the public record search engine family and the best people finder site to uncover cheating spouses or partners. It offers background checks, reverse phone lookups, arrest records, and a variety of public records to find anyone instantly. The site also providers resources on online dating, home security, identity theft, marriage, online safety, and more.

  • People Search
  • Background Checks
  • Reverse Phone Lookup
  • Criminal Background Checks
  • Public Records Searches
RentSpree Logo

RentSpree

Verify Tenants at Light-Speed.

RentSpree offers tenant screening for realtors, landlords, property managers, and enterprises, helping them simplify and speed up the renting process. If you need to collect online rental applications, utilize reliable tenant background check services, and take advantage of other helpful features, RentSpree can deliver all that, plus top-notch customer service.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Rental Management Software
  • Rent Calculator
  • Renters Insurance
TransUnion SmartMove Logo

TransUnion SmartMove

Great Reports. Great Convenience. Great Tenants.

Established in 2008, TransUnion SmartMove is one of the first web-based screening solutions for smaller landlords. The company relies on the largest eviction databases with 27 million records, promising to predict 15% better rental eviction risk than typical credit scores. Over 400 firms and 3.7 million landlords use SmartMove to make more confident rental decisions.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Income Insights Reports

RentPrep

Tenant Screening Made Easy.

RentPrep was founded in 2007 to provide smaller landlords with quality tenant screening services. It employs FCRA-certified screeners who can assist you from start to finish on your journey to finding reliable tenants. Its 11,000+ Facebook community for landlords, property managers, and investors, and the “RentPrep for Landlords” podcast offer valuable insights on how to be a top-class landlord.

  • Tenant Screening Services
  • Income Verifications

How We Selected the Best Background Check Services

We developed an extensive selection process to uncover the background check outfits you can trust. Each candidate on our list has passed a rigorous testing process. We checked the companies for their reputation, scope of services, compliance, accreditations, accuracy, turnaround time, and more. Below you can get a closer look at our evaluation methodology. 

Verifying Company’s Reputation

First and foremost, we check whether we are dealing with a legit, trustworthy background check company. After visiting the website, we look for reviews from real customers on third-party sites and take notes of the pros and cons mentioned. While no business can make everyone happy (it’d actually be suspicious if they did), we are interested in top background check companies with an overall positive score.

Screening Services

Background check outfits offer a variety of services. Typically, they cater to individuals who want to check or find someone or offer an array of background checks for employers, background check services for landlords, as well as lenders. Here are the types of screenings you can expect to receive from the top providers featured on our list. We have ordered a variety of checks from every evaluated company to verify their accuracy and quality. 

The best people search sites typically offer information available on public records like: 

The top employment background check companies and other business-related screening providers offer some standard business background check services as well as more advanced searches, including:

The best background check companies for landlords typically perform the following searches: 

Compliance & Accreditations 

If you need an employment background check or one for business lending purposes, you must choose an FCRA-compliant company. The Fair Credit Reporting Act defines the federal laws and practices that pre-employment screening companies have to follow when looking up candidates. It obligates employers to obtain the applicant’s permission for screening and gives them the right to review and dispute the findings and provide further explanations on the results. FCRA-compliant background check firms are also obligated to provide accurate information. 

We also checked the potential companies for Professional Screening Association accreditation (PBSA). It’s proof of excellence reserved only for the best background check sites that follow PBSA’s strict guidelines. Other standards and certifications typical for the best players in the industry include ISO 9001 (International Standard for a Quality Management System), ISO 27001 (Global Security Standard for Information Security Management), and BBB (Better Business Bureau) accreditation. 

Our comprehensive list of services contains leading people search sites as well as FCRA-compliant background check agencies. We ensure that we feature only companies that continuously monitor laws, regulations, and trends and adjust their screening programs if necessary to minimize risk and maximize accuracy. If you just want to perform a personal background check, screen your shady neighbors, someone you met on the internet, or reconnect with an old pal, feel free to use people’s search sites without worrying about getting in trouble with the law. 

Accuracy

Accuracy is a big one for employment and other professional background check companies. Inaccurate reports could cost a job opportunity to candidates, resulting in questionable hires for employers or lead to other unwanted scenarios. To ensure background check websites provide reports with up-to-date information, we ordered various screenings for the same people. We then compared the results and eliminated the companies that provided falsely positive or negative reports. 

On our list, you can find companies that provide highly accurate, up-to-date information from reputable sources and deliver error-free background check business reports.  

Turnaround Time

While people search sites provide instant results, the industry average turnaround time for pre-employment and business-related background checks is three to five business days. Some background check services for employers are even faster, delivering results in one to three business days. The turnaround time also depends on the scope and complexity of the performed screenings. We tested every pre-employment screening company on our list to verify that their turnaround times fall within the industry standard of three to five business days. 

Companies that take forever to deliver a report can cost you great potential employees and business. The most reputable firms provide time estimates somewhere on their websites. If you can’t find this information, you can ask them directly to ensure you’re dealing with a top-notch firm that respects your time. 

Ease of Use and Mobile Friendly Access

As part of our selection of the best background check companies, we visited the websites of the firms under consideration and requested a variety of screening services. This way, we tested the user experience and eliminated companies that ask suspicious questions or have confusing platforms. We appreciate it when firms provide sample reports so everyone can see how the information is organized. The best background check providers present their findings in an easy-to-process way because no one has time to dig through a pile of poorly structured data. In a nutshell, services that offer the most seamless, straightforward experience along with mobile functionality get extra points in our ranking process. 

Customer Service

We put ourselves in the role of customers and contacted each background checking company via all available communication channels. Only background check vendors with attentive customer care representatives that provide prompt answers and assistance landed a spot on our list. We also value when companies provide enough resources like booklets, video tutorials, guides, blogs, FAQ sections, and other forms, allowing potential customers to make a better-informed decision, and helping existing customers clear any confusions they might have.

Pricing

The pricing for people search sites is typically subscription-based, giving you better deals if you make a monthly or an annual commitment rather than paying for every report separately. 

Employee background check services, on the other hand, typically have ready-made packages for those with simpler needs and customization options for employers with more complex requirements. In most cases, you can also order specific screening services separately. 

Prices for background services vary depending on the type and scope of screenings you need. We featured outfits with prices that fall within industry standards, excluding unnecessarily expensive or suspiciously cheap providers. 

How to Choose the Best Background Check Service for Your Needs

Whether you want to stay in the know about the people around you or need to find a reputable background check company for your business, our carefully vetted list of background check companies got you covered. We prepared a guide to ease your selection process and help you choose the best fit for your needs. 

Define Your Screening Needs

If you’re looking for a people search service, determine whether you intend to use these sites on an ongoing basis or need to check someone once in a while. Maybe you want to discover who’s calling you from an unknown number. In that case, the top reverse phone lookup services will do the job. If you’re an employer, you want to evaluate how many employee background checks you’d conduct per year and what types of screening services you’ll use before reaching out to a company.

Before hiring an employer background check company, make sure it does all the background checks you need so you don’t end up having to look elsewhere. Maybe you need specific verifications, but many basic services don’t have such expertise, so you have to find a trustworthy education and license verification company. You also want to see if the firm has any pre-made packages that fit your needs and whether it allows clients to make their bundles or at least purchase add-ons with existing packages. Look for full-service background check companies if you have more comprehensive screening needs. 

Know Your Screening Obligations

A background check for employment comes with certain obligations you must respect if you don’t want to get in trouble with the law. First and foremost, you must hire an FCRA-compliant employee background check firm to conduct them. Using people-search databases that aren’t FCRA-compliant to make hiring or lending decisions can result in lawsuits. 

As an employer, you also must get written permission from each candidate you want to screen. Keep in mind that if a potential employee asks you to review the results, you must respect their request. The top background check sites that went under our rigorous selection process are ready to guide you on how to handle the results in the employee background checks and, if necessary, go over them with the applicant. This way, they get a chance to confirm or deny the information. 

Remember that as an employer, you are also obligated to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and never use the information in the background checks to discriminate against the potential candidates for whatever reason. Your industry might also require you to conduct specific checks available only from certain background check sites. In this case, it’s essential to partner with the best background check site that understands the regulations in your domain. 

If the employee background check company asks you to sign a contract, review it carefully before putting in your signature. Are the stated fees those you have agreed on? Are there any penalties if you cancel the service? Have you committed to a specific number of background checks per year, and what happens if you fail to meet the minimum? Pay attention to all the details in your contract. 

Look for an Industry Specialist

While any business can suffer from a bad employee, the consequences in some industries like healthcare, childcare, or education can be fatal. For instance, if you need to screen medical professionals, you better narrow your choices down to the best healthcare background check companies. Since background screening companies usually list their industry focus somewhere on their websites, it’s fairly easy to check whether the outfit you’re considering has dealt with your industry before and go for someone that understands your sector-specific hiring requirements and regulations. 

Define Your Budget

Do your research to get an idea of the industry standard so that you don’t end up overpaying.  Then you can outline a budget that corresponds with your screening needs and narrow down the list only to background checking companies that fall within your spending limit. 

Interview the Top Candidates

There’s no need to go this far with people search sites as they have fixed prices and provide instant results. If, however, you need to hire a professional background check company to conduct screenings on an ongoing basis, it’s worth scheduling a meeting with a representative to discuss a custom package and quote. This way, you can get an offer tailored to your unique needs. It will also give you a closer look into the company’s vibe and culture and help you make the final decision. 

Be Aware of Unrealistic Claims

Don’t fall for promises such as “multi-jurisdictional” or “national search.” In reality, a national registry with up-to-date information for every jurisdiction doesn’t exist. To avoid scams, educate yourself on what type of information you can obtain through background investigation companies. Always make sure to use FCRA-compliant companies for employment screening and other business needs. 

Negotiate the Best Deal

A few more tips on how you can close the best deal for your pre-employment screening needs:

Background Check FAQs

How long does a background check take?

Non-employment background checking sites provide instant results. Employment background check firms, on the other hand, typically take three to five business days or less to deliver reports.

What does a background check show?

Employers may conduct different types of background checks, including industry-specific screenings. Typically, a background check for employers shows a candidate’s identity verification, employment history, education, and license verification, criminal background check, credit history, and driving records. 

How much does a background check cost?

Given that many types of background check services are available, it’s hard to pin down an exact number. The price typically depends on the background report cost and the access fees charged by jurisdictions and data providers. 

Below you can see the average price ranges for the most common types of background checks:

Background check companies have to pay the following access fees when conducting some types of screenings: 

Note that most of the top background check websites have multiple screening services bundled in packages. Basic background checks usually include SSN trace, criminal records check (national databases and sex offender registries) and cost $30 on average per check. Mid-tier or standard employment background checks typically cost around $60 per check. They include domestic watchlist search and county criminal databases on top of the information provided in basic checks. You can also order comprehensive background check services, which will cost you an average of $80/check and include education and employment verifications in addition to the information contained in the primary and standard employment background checks. 

How far back does a background check go?

Typically, background checks go seven years back into a person’s criminal or court records. Still, it can vary by the type of information criminal background check companies search and compliance laws.  

What is a universal background check?

Universal background checks are related to screening people involved in gun sales. These checks are intended to close the dangerous loophole that allows prohibited purchasers to get their hands on guns through private parties, including gun shows and online channels. While at the moment, universal background checks are not required by US federal law, they are expected to become constitutional as part of the efforts to reduce gun violence. In that case, the seller would have to run the purchaser’s basic information through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure there are no prohibitions for firearm possession on their name. 

How long does a DUI stay on your background check?

DUI (driving under the influence) arrests stay on background checks for seven years after the arrest date. DUI convictions remain on criminal background checks forever, meaning that employers that screen you through some of the best background check websites can see a DUI conviction even if it happened decades ago.

How long does a misdemeanor show up on a background check?

Misdemeanor stays on your criminal background check for life. Although a less severe crime than a felony, a misdemeanor will keep showing up on your background checks unless you successfully petition for expungement. 

What is a Level 2 background check?

A Level 2 background check is a specific type of fingerprint background check performed primarily on potential employees whose jobs require contact with vulnerable individuals such as seniors, children, or people with disabilities. 

What is a Level 3 background check?

A Level 3 background check is the most popular type that background check companies perform, and it involves criminal records, education verification, employment history, and reference checks. These background checks can also include a pre-employment drug screening if requested by the employer.