How To Become a Private Investigator?

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Always wanted to be a Private Investigator but do not know where to start? Currently in the UK, Private Investigation is an unlicensed industry, which enables anyone to just start up his or her own Private Investigation Agency.

Firstly, what do Private Investigators do?
Each Private Investigator can vary with the services they offer, but below are some that can be found:
What experience or qualifications do you need?
You do not really require much experience but the majority of Private Investigators tend to have previously been in the police service or army. This gives them an advantage of knowing the law and long held experience in environments that have required them to have a fast thinking and investigative mind.

Where can I gain qualifications if I don’t have any?
You can search online for a course but make sure it is a fully accredited course from a respected training school. A good place to look is ‘The Acadamy of Professional Investigators’ at which offers BTEC Level 3 Diplomas with Stuart Withers.

Once you’ve set up your agency, how do you obtain clients?
When you first start a Private Investigation business you will need to heavily advertise and promote yourself to new clients. This can be done by creating an informative website with good quality content, but you shouldn’t overlook posting out leaflets of your services to local solicitors, business directories and members of the public. This can be a great way to generate repeat long-term business from local companies.

Where else should you advertise?
You can advertise on your website and by creating social media sites for your business such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can advertise in online directories such as and paper directories such as the Yellow Pages. Another great way to advertise is to speak to the local newspaper and ask them to run a story on your agency. Everyone loves to read the stories of a Private Investigator!

What prices should you charge?
Private Investigators charge all different prices depending on the service you require. The best way to find out what you should charge is to research other companies and be competitive with your prices. You also need to remember that you still need enough to make a profit so you cannot lower your prices too much.

What area are you going to offer your services to?
Some Private Investigators operate in their local area, across the whole UK or some even internationally. If you are going to operate across the UK or internationally then you need to create a rapport with other agents so that you can instruct other agents if work comes in outside the immediate area that you cover. In return, these other agents will most likely instruct you when they obtain work back in your area, so it will be a win-win situation. Once you know whether you are going to work strictly locally or nationwide you can concentrate on exactly where you need to advertise and depending on the service, exactly who to.

Where can I go for more advise?
A great forum to join for some advice on becoming a Private Investigator is the BritishAgents forum at This is a network of over 2,000 Investigators in the UK, most of whom would be more than happy to offer you any help and advice if required. Many long-term and experienced Investigators use this forum regularly if they are faced with an unusual enquiry, which they themselves are not a specialist in and would like some outside input on.

What are the important points of being a Private Investigator?
  • You should carry out a good job for your client and at a reasonable fee.
  • You should file your report and invoice in a timely manner.
  • You should operate legally and never step outside of the law.
  • You should act within your own moral guidelines.
  • You should investigate within the regulations of the Data Protection Act.
  • You should only practice in matters you are qualified to do so.
  • You should never misrepresent the profession.
Your comments are also welcome below and we will respond to any questions raised.

Kemp Investigations and Legal Services
08444 142 145

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