BUSINESS BACKGROUND CHECK: How to Run One & Best Services

Business Background Check
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Suppose you are a business owner or executive assigned to conduct a background check on a business. In that case, you may ask what information is included in a due diligence report and where to begin. Businesses and consumers now have access to more information than they know what to deal with. Sifting through the mounds of data to establish actionable insights that would provide the peace of mind needed when working with another firm is the real challenge, not locating the information itself. This article will cover the basics of small business background checks, including the services that do them, why it’s important, how to start one, and the background check for employment.

What is  Business Background Check?

A business background check is a procedure that provides potential consumers, investors, and partners with information about the company’s past. At the same time, conducting a background check on a business will uncover or confirm information regarding the company’s present condition. This data comprises financial information that would be useful before investing in the company or forming a partnership with the corporation.

Furthermore, to acquire an accurate view of a company’s past and present, it’s important to do a thorough business background check that involves researching a wide range of public records. The process includes looking into whether or not the company has been sued before and, if so, when. The business background check will reveal the verdict in any resolved litigation, including the imposition of any tax liens or other penalties. If any legal action is still open, the business background check will reveal specifics about the case and its current state.

The business background check will not only seek for information on lawsuits filed against the company but also on lawsuits filed by or on behalf of the business. Among the things we’ll look for are bankruptcies, mergers, dissolutions of mergers, and litigation brought by or against the corporation.

It is not uncommon for consumer complaints about a company’s products or services to be uncovered during a business background check. Recurring consumer concerns that the company doesn’t handle may indicate a weak basis.

The primary benefit of a business background check is reassurance that neither the company’s current situation nor its current culture poses any risk to potential clients, investors, or business associates. By conducting a thorough background check, the corporation can either reassure the potential business partner with further information or uncover red flags the company would prefer not to mention.

What Background Check Do Most Employers Use?

When deciding what kinds of background checks to perform, employers should always take into account the unique requirements and responsibilities of each open position. However, the vast majority of businesses will find that these choices cover all or nearly all of their employees.

#1. Identity Verification

One of the most fundamental kinds of background checks is the verification of identity. The aim of identity verification is to check that the person applying matches the information they gave about themselves, such as their Social Security number (SSN). 

The primary motivation for performing this background check is to ensure conformity with the law. Employing persons who aren’t legally able to work in the U.S. might result in monetary penalties for businesses. If you don’t check your identity or conduct a Social Security number trace, an employee may have given false information. However, there are times when people use forged documents to prove their identity. Because of this, a company may hire an individual who needs to gain the necessary qualifications for the position.

Also, the results of any additional background checks you run will also be reliable if you start with an identity verification process. If you don’t double-check an individual’s entire legal name, DOB, and SSN before conducting a background check, you can get inaccurate or misleading results, including a criminal record that belongs to someone with the same name but a different DOB.

#2. Credit Background Checks

Checking a potential employee’s credit report can give you valuable information about their financial stability and credit history. Employment credit checks are commonplace for positions that require handling money or dealing with clients. This is especially crucial in the banking sector, since workers may have access to both corporate and consumer funds.

However, it’s crucial to be aware of the rules and regulations that govern pre-employment credit checks. Employers’ use of such information is governed by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). If a candidate’s background check shows erroneous information, give them an opportunity to explain or fix it before hiring them.

#3. Social Media Background Checks

Pre-employment screenings of applicants’ social media profiles are a relatively recent development. Reviewing a potential employee’s social media profiles and activities is what a social media background check entails. Screening a candidate’s social media accounts is a common practice intended to detect warning signs, such as hate speech or cyberbullying. Even if it happens on a worker’s personal account, inappropriate or disrespectful comments can have a negative impact on the company’s public image. This kind of conduct may also be an indicator that a person is a workplace harasser. Racist, homophobic, or sexist online remarks may indicate the candidate doesn’t share your company’s values and make employees uncomfortable.

Most of this list is validated when an applicant is selected as the top candidate and passes background checks. Employers shouldn’t forget that this should also be the case while looking into a candidate’s social media history. LinkedIn is a professional networking and job search tool that may be used during the recruiting process; however, early searches of more personal accounts on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok may contribute to unconscious prejudice on the part of the hiring team. Although it’s human nature to be drawn to those who remind us of ourselves, it’s not a good idea to base an interview decision on superficial factors like whether or not you both like the same clothes or have similar interests and political views.

#4. Criminal Record Checks

Background checks on potential employees can tell businesses a lot about their character. Convictions for many different types of offenses may be revealed by doing a background check.

Because not all jurisdictions share information, you may need to do criminal background checks at the federal, state, and local levels. The legal ramifications of using criminal histories in hiring decisions are something you should be aware of. The Fair Chance Ordinance of San Francisco, for example, places limitations on their application. Also, read HOW TO DO A BACKGROUND CHECK: Strategic Steps & Guide To Follow.

#5. Education Verification

The purpose of an education verification check by an employer is to validate an applicant’s claimed academic accomplishments. Degree verification verifies if the candidate earned the degree they indicated on their résumé or application. Some companies even go so far as to double-check an applicant’s grades and list of accomplishments.

How to Start a Background Check Business

It’s not simple to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. Many factors come into play, including what you sell and how you sell it. The kind of business that you launch is a crucial choice.  Here are tips to start a background check business.

#1. Know Your Background Check Options

Criminal records, credit reports, and academic credentials are the three most common types of background checks. Conviction and arrest records are typically included in standard background checks for criminal activity. Bankruptcies, late payments, and other negative marks on a credit report will be revealed. A person’s academic credentials might be revealed by conducting a thorough education background check.

#2. Identify the Company

The name of your background check company will be the first impression you make on potential customers, making it a crucial and difficult endeavor. The name you choose should be professional and indicative of your goals. After choosing keywords that appropriately define your services, consider adding a pun or play-on words to your company name.

The next step is to check the name’s availability and domain name alternatives after creating a shortlist of company names.

#3. Create a Corporation or LLC

What is meant by the term “business entity” is the formal legal framework within which a company functions. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are the four most common types of business organizations. There are benefits and drawbacks to any legal structure, including liability risk, expenses, and paperwork.

Furthermore, background check services typically have to choose between being a sole proprietorship or an LLC as their legal structure.

If one partner sues the business or steals money, the other partners will be individually liable for the debt.

In order to protect personal assets from business debts, many business owners choose to incorporate them. The proprietors of a corporation are shielded from personal liability for corporate debts and legal judgments. The corporation has more administrative needs than an LLC and is more sophisticated than any of the other forms. However, becoming a corporation is the way to go if you want to attract a lot of investors.

That leaves the LLC and the sole proprietorship.

The sole proprietorship has the dual advantages of being the cheapest and simplest business structure to initiate. Also, the owner’s personal assets are at risk if the company fails, thus this must be carefully considered. The limited liability company (LLC) combines the flexibility of a single proprietorship with the corporate liability shield. In addition, forming an LLC can insulate business owners from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit or bankruptcy for as little as $40 to $500, depending on the state.

#4. Pick Your Business Location

Since many businesses are run from the owner’s house, it’s possible that this won’t be a deal breaker for you. Businesses that want to stay in the neighborhood or hire staff must find suitable office space.

Part-time office space can be rented through a shared office, coworking space, or incubator program if you are just getting started and the expense and justification of a permanent place aren’t necessary.

#5. Submit Applications for Necessary Permits and Licenses

Background check services may require specific professional licenses before they may lawfully operate.

Understanding the rules and laws governing pre-employment screening is crucial. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are responsible for enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) at the federal level. There could be additional regulations at the state level. Your company and your client’s company could face fines and legal action if necessary procedures are not followed.

There are other general registrations for businesses that may be required. Among these are legal permission to conduct business, the ability to collect and remit taxes, and an Employee Identification Number (EIN).

#6. Obtain a Loan

Having a great business plan and the management chops to implement it are two different things from having the financial resources to start a background check business.  While the initial outlay required to launch a background check service is cheap, securing the necessary startup capital might be challenging.  In most cases, a borrower will need excellent credit and the ability to put up 15–25% of the total start-up costs before a bank will consider lending them money.

#7. Put Together a Marketing Strategy

The success of your new background check business depends on your ability to spread the word and attract new customers. Building trust and authority in your field requires a strategy that prioritizes precision, dependability, and confidentiality.

Also, building trust with the local community through partnerships with organizations like the police and universities can help bring in more paying consumers. In addition to these methods, networking with companies and staffing agencies, sending out direct mail, making cold calls, setting up a booth at job fairs, and attending job fairs are all great ways to get the word out about your service.

Your business can reach potential background check customers by advertising on social media or job boards.

#8. Obtain Commercial Insurance

Due to the sensitive nature of the work involved in conducting background checks and the potential for accidents to occur, it is essential to have comprehensive insurance.

An essential form of insurance for every background checking company is errors and omissions coverage. Furthermore, General Liability Insurance might offer financial security in the event a client alleges they suffered reputational loss as a direct result of a results report. Depending on the nature of the company’s operations and the services it offers, other types of insurance, such as Data Breach Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Insurance, may also be required.

Small Business Background Check

In today’s tight job market, it might be difficult for small firms to fill open positions with qualified candidates.

However, precautions must still be taken to vet candidates for their suitability, honesty, and skill. Did you know that nearly all employers (94%) say they verify the backgrounds of potential workers?

Conducting a background check on potential employees and business partners is an important step in keeping everyone secure.

Why Should a Small Business Conduct a Background Check?

We polled HR professionals and successful business owners for their thoughts on the topic to assist you make the call on whether or not to research the backgrounds of potential new hires. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding if background checks are worthwhile for your business, including ensuring a safe workplace, preventing fraud, and preserving client confidence. Here are some of the reasons.

#1. Check Employment and Education Records

A small business owner would be wise to run a background check on a candidate’s employment and educational history to make sure their resume is accurate. While it’s likely that a candidate is telling the truth about themselves, it isn’t unheard of for people to lie, and for entrepreneurs, it’s best to be safe than sorry. In circumstances when high levels of knowledge are required to ensure worker safety, hiring a new employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of the job is a bad idea. An individual’s credibility and suitability for employment can be ascertained by a thorough investigation of their past.

#2. Verify That They Are Not a Safety Risk

A Background check is a need for every small business. Trust between an employer and employee is essential from the start of any working relationship. If we are going to hire someone, we need to make sure they haven’t done something illegal in the past. Otherwise, our standing and influence will suffer. We cannot hire someone with a history of bank fraud who would use cutting-edge security measures fraudulently. But we shouldn’t write out an individual just because of their prior mistakes. Everyone has the potential to develop and grow, and everyone has made poor choices in the past. In addition, if a company, has a good feeling about them, they should hire them.

#3. You Must Be Sure You’re Hiring the Best Candidate

Keep an eye out for red flags during the screening process that indicate something isn’t “quite right.” Employee turnover is extremely high in the present business climate, making it more critical than ever to find and hire the best candidates. If a potential employee refuses to submit to a background check, they probably aren’t the best fit for your company. Instead, seek out those who are open and honest about their qualifications and expertise.

#4. Safeguard Your Startup From Danger

When compared to huge corporations, small businesses are more vulnerable to increases in their SG&A to sales ratio due to the hiring of even one employee. However, on top of that, small firms are more vulnerable to financial crimes like fraud, theft, and mismanagement. These dangers can be considerably mitigated with rigorous background checks on prospective employees. I think it’s even more important for a small business to perform a thorough background check than it would be for a larger company with more established internal policies and bylaws.

#5. Maintain a Risk-Free Workplace

It is impossible to make educated employment judgments without conducting background checks. You can reduce worries and risks associated with any dangers an employee may offer by doing thorough background checks before hiring. The use of a pre-employment screening tool can help safeguard your business from liability claims by ensuring compliance with federal, state, municipal, and industry requirements.

#6. Keep the Investors Confident

In order to give confidence to their investors, a small business should do thorough pre-employment screenings and background checks on all potential employees. Investors’ concerns about a terrible hire might be allayed by presenting them with a background check report on the individual, as this could affect their opinion of the company. Due diligence on potential employees is essential for the growth and prosperity of any small business.

#7. Eliminate Unreliable Job Seekers

Employers need to do a thorough background check to select the most qualified and trustworthy individuals for open positions. It’s a certain way to ensure that only the most qualified candidates for an open position are selected by management.

Imagine you’ve met a persuasive job applicant with a stellar resume. However, the right mentality and social behavior to represent the business going forward might be revealed through a thorough background check. Employers should take special precautions to protect the privacy of job applicants when collecting and using their personal information. When conducting background checks on potential employees through a third party, it is imperative that you always refer to and abide by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act.

What’s in a Small Business Background Check?

The information revealed by a small business background check can change significantly from one industry to the next.

The majority of small enterprises, however, request the following kind of research:

  • Education verification
  • Criminal history
  • Professional license verification if applicable
  • Employment verification
  • Identity verification
  • Pre-employment drug tests

Small Business Background Check Services

Background check services can safeguard your business by disclosing information about an applicant’s identification, criminal history, job and educational background, credit score, and more. Think about the several kinds of checks that can be run, how much they’ll cost, how accurate the results will be, and how user-friendly the service will be before committing to one.

Finding the information you need isn’t the hard part; rather, it’s sorting through the masses of data to find actionable insights that will give you the confidence you need to collaborate with another company. 

Small Business Background Check Services: What to Consider?

Choosing a background check provider involves a number of considerations. Here are the standards by which we judged each option, and we advise you to do the same:

#1. Price

Different businesses charge different amounts for different sorts of reports. When compared to the full-service organizations, whose prices per applicant review varied from $24.99 to well over $100, the DIY service we researched cost less than $20. Three pre-set tiers of packages are common among the offerings of many businesses. Some require a single payment to join. Discounts may be possible for ordering many background checks at once; however, this typically requires speaking with a customer service agent.

#2. Do-It-Yourself vs. Professional Options

 If you’re trying to save money, it could be tempting to do your own background checks through online searches. However, you’ll have restricted access to data and run the risk of finding incomplete or inaccurate information about your applicant. 

#3. Compliance

Background checks are mandated by the FCRA. Do-it-yourself methods frequently fail to meet requirements, such as those requiring applicants’ written agreement to background checks and the right to see results. It’s important to check if a company is FCRA compliant before doing business with them. Information about the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) role in enforcing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is available on its website.

#4. Product Variety

Full-service background check providers may do some of their research via Internet databases, but they also provide in-person services including reference checking and county court visits. Your background check’s credibility and thoroughness can both improve with the help of these providers.

#5. Technology

You should also think about how well-integrated the technology is before making a final decision. Some provide web-based platforms that integrate with a wide variety of HR software and make it simple for candidates to submit their information and for you to view real-time reports.

#6. Assistance to Clients

 Many businesses provide extensive assistance to their clients. On weekdays, several companies provide phone assistance. There are also services that provide email help around the clock. Conversations with others are possible by phone, electronic mail, and live-web conferencing. In some businesses, each client is given their own account manager. Also, consider the company’s availability in light of your support needs and your work schedule.

#7. The Superiority of the Company

There are a number of metrics by which a company’s service can be evaluated. Read both professional and customer assessments of the product. Check the company’s credentials, such as those from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other organizations that promote ethical business practices. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is the trade group representing the background-checking sector.

Overview of the Best Business Background Check Services

Here are the top best business background check services.

#1. GoodHire

When it comes to background check services, GoodHire has everything a small business might want, including thorough reports at reasonable prices. Users can get all of their background check results in one easy-to-navigate internet platform. Besides the construction and healthcare sectors, GoodHire also assists the nonprofit, retail, staffing, and technology sectors.

Furthermore, there are three preset search options available from this firm. Packages can cost anything from $29.99 each check up to $79.99 per check. There is a progressive level of thoroughness in the searches conducted for each plan, with the most comprehensive option looking into national criminal databases, sex offender lists, domestic watch lists, county criminal court searches (looking back seven years), education verification, and employer verification. Users have the option to purchase supplementary searches, such as verification of a professional license, a credit report check for potential employers, a drug test, a check for healthcare sanctions, or a DMV record check.

#2. AccurateNow

AccurateNow, a subsidiary of Accurate Background, provides a low-cost background check for a small business. However, small business owners can benefit greatly from its pre-employment screening services because of its affordable charges, pay-as-you-go programs, and lack of monthly minimums. Background checks are one service AccurateNow provides, and they cover a wide range of fields.

Also, it has three distinct pricing tiers. The starting price for a report is $29.95 (for the Basic package) and goes up to $74.95 (for the Premium package). The Premium package includes an SSN trace and addresses history check, a national criminal check, a national sex offender registry search, a worldwide watch search, verification of education and employment for one individual, and a global watch search. further costs will apply for any further searches that you request. Verification of credentials in the fields of work, transportation, education, and employment, as well as federal criminal records checks, all fall within the umbrella of these investigations.

#3. eNannySource

Caregiver and nanny screening is made easy with eNannySource, a web-based service. Even while eNannySource isn’t something you’d use for traditional pre-employment screening, it’s a fantastic tool for those trying to fill domestic staff positions. To ensure that the domestic worker you hire from eNannySource is trustworthy, we conduct extensive background checks.

There are three different subscription tiers available on the platform that range in price from $24 to $94. Different plans have different levels of coverage; the most extensive one checks over 300 million federal criminal records. In addition, a national alias search, a driving record report, a search of the national sex offender registry, a search of the county court records for the most recent county in which the applicant has lived, and searches of the county court records for prior counties in which the applicant has lived are all carried out. New York searches, for instance, set you back an extra $95, and neither Pennsylvania nor New Hampshire offer drivers’ abstracts.

#4. B&B Reporting Inc.

B&B Reporting Inc. provides small and medium-sized enterprises with a wide range of verification and background check services. If your company needs cutting-edge background check software, we suggest this firm.

Plans are not available through B&B Reporting, Inc. Instead, it provides a menu of optional background checks and screenings that you can combine in any way you see fit. The agency does not publish its rates online; to obtain an estimate, you must speak with a representative. Multiple jurisdictional criminal searches, county criminal searches, state criminal searches, and federal criminal searches are all options for screening.

How Do You Investigate a Business?

When evaluating a business, research, observation, and common sense are all useful assets. Here are some factors to weigh as you research a potential acquisition:

#1. Pay Attention to Clients

If you’re going after a client business where loitering is not strictly forbidden, spend some time eavesdropping on customers to get a feel for how they feel about the establishment.

#2. Keep an Eye Out for People

Spend a couple of weeks in undercover policing mode. You can keep an eye on your target company by parking your car or sitting in a coffee shop across the street at various times during work hours and marking the time, date, and duration of your observation on a chart. Also, take note of the busy and slow times in your business. Take note of the kind of clients who are coming in and investigate their motivations.

#3. Research the Area and Your Competitors

How would you describe the vibe of the neighborhood the store is in? Where does it fall on the spectrum between cool and necessary, and how common are establishments like this one on this street? Is there a need for this establishment in the community? Is the neighborhood improving (more affluent individuals are coming there), declining (you’re already catering to those with the highest disposable income), or staying about the same?

#4. Find Out Why There Are Empty Storefronts

Storefront vacancies might not necessarily be cause for alarm. Empty storefronts could be a sign of a developing crime problem in the area, driving away potential customers and employees. This is bad news for any business, consumer, or otherwise. Alternatively, it’s also possible that landlords are raising rents since the neighborhood is experiencing a quiet real estate boom and they believe they can attract a more affluent tenant population by doing so.

#5. Look Into Who Holds Authority in the Area

Locate the local legislators with the most influence in the area where your firm is based. Observe their actions (and inactions) on behalf of the business community. Investigate whether there are any nonprofits in the area that provide assistance to local businesses, and get as much information and intelligence from them as you can in a stealthy manner for your study.

#6. Check the Headlines

Do you know how the business section of the newspaper always has those dull paragraphs with lame headshots about how Joe Jones received a great promotion? When contemplating a business acquisition, these columns can become quite engaging.

Furthermore, the positive news (expansion, new locations, skilled new executives) and the bad news (locations closing, top management resigning, lawsuits brought by customers or suppliers) can be found by searching for any news story that involves the name of your target company.

Background Check for Employment

Making a hasty decision and hiring the wrong individual can waste time and money. The results of a thorough employment background check can give you more confidence in your hiring decision.

An Employment background check is a type of pre-employment screening that involves researching an applicant’s claims in public records.

Background checks are an integral component of the recruiting process since they assist mitigate risk, providing more insight into candidates, and validating initial judgments.

Furthermore, a background check can be used as an employment requirement, but only if they are conducted in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates the creation and use of consumer reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) shields both employers and job seekers from discrimination and privacy invasions in the recruiting process.

How Do Employment Background Checks Work?

An applicant’s identity can be confirmed through a background check by looking up their name, address, and other personal information in public databases like criminal and financial filings. Physical interaction with a university, professional group, or former job is also possible.

Human resources professionals often use consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), background check firms, or HR software (such as HRISes) to perform these investigations.

Background checks are governed by both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state legislation, both of which have specific requirements that must be met to avoid legal liability.

Employment Background Check Process

While most employers wait until they are ready to make an offer before conducting background checks, some will use a report on multiple applicants to assist them choose who to hire.

To ensure compliance, you need to take the following four measures:

  • Disclosure. Candidates need to be made aware that pre-employment screening is a need before an offer can be made.
  • Permission. The applicant has the right to know who is doing the background check, what information will be shared, and what rights they have under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
  • Research. After the candidate gives their approval and enough personal information, the report is generated utilizing the appropriate resources.
  • Review. You will be given a report to evaluate, which will normally be labeled as “clear” if hiring is okay or “consider” if there is cause for worry.


You should be able to relax after conducting a business background check if you know that the results are comprehensive and straightforward. There are a plethora of corporate screening companies, but they all disclose too much data.

However, most companies outsource the process of checking applicants’ backgrounds before hiring them. While it is possible to do some of the aforementioned checks on your own, it is usually more efficient to use a background check service. This is especially the case if you intend to implement multiple of the aforementioned measures on each worker. It might be especially challenging to keep up with the legislation and local agency requirements linked to requesting data if you employ employees in more than one region.

Business Background Check FAQs

How Do Employers Verify Employment History?

An employer can learn more about your work history and whether or not you have the desired abilities by doing a background check. A potential employer may verify the information you provided about your employment history by calling your former employers. A potential employer may also inquire about your abilities and performance from previous jobs.

Can Employers See if You Were Fired?

An employer has the right to know whether an employee left due to termination, layoff, or voluntary resignation in the majority of states. While employers have the right to reveal employee information, this does not necessarily indicate that they would.

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