Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach

Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach

Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach
Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach

Individuals wanting to start a private investigation company will come from a variety of backgrounds and have a variety of experience.  Each state will vary in regards to the experience needed to begin a private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach from extensive experience to no experience at all.  In the state of Washington for instance, an individual can obtain a business license by paying a fee of $600 and taking an examination to obtain their private investigation companies license.  An individual can also obtain their license by having 3 or more years of verifiable private investigation experience and paying the $600 fee.  Washington also requires you carrying a bond or insurance and have no criminal convictions.  Other states may not require any licensing so be sure to check with your state on their requirements.

This article will cover typical questions in a general manner.  Every state is different but you should be thinking about each step before you start.  Some steps will need to be taken at the same time.

Cost of starting a private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach


Before you are able to start your own private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach, you must determine your state’s licensing requirements.  By knowing the requirements that need to be met, you are able to take the necessary steps towards meeting the requirements.

In most states the following requirements need to be met:

  • You must be 18 years or older
  • Must have a specific amount of transferable experience or actual experience
  • You must have a clean criminal record
  • Be a United States citizen


Regardless of your state’s requirements to be a private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach, you will need to gain some experience and learn the laws that directly and indirectly affect the private investigation industry.  Gaining experience will allow you to provide a variety of services to your future clients and help you determine what your areas of the private investigation industry you may want to specialize in.  Below are few resources that will help you get started with your investigative experience.

1.)       How to gain private investigator experience article

2.)       P.I Now’s list of the Top 25 Private Investigation Schools

3.)       College course work in criminal justice in some states can substitute on the job experience.

4.)       If a test is required by the state, see if there is a study booklet or practice exam

5.)       Read private investigation books on the market.  Click here for private investigation books I recommend.

6.)       Get hired on with a company as a private investigator or an intern.


To find your state’s requirements, a helpful website to view CRIME TIME.

After determining your state requirements, fees, licensing requirements, submit all your information to the state.

In most cases you will need to obtain a business license through the state as well as through the companies that govern private investigation companies licensing.


Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach
Private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach

There are many business structures that are available for businesses.  Typically in my experience I have only observed two models. The two models are the Sole Proprietor and the Limited Liability Company or (LLC).

The sole proprietor is one of the easiest business models to begin with however it also carries the most liability.  An example of liability is if you are sued for any reason.  Your business and personal assets are combined as a sole proprietor.  Essentially the individual suing you can pursue your personal assets.

With an LLC the business owner can separate his personal assets from his business assets.  If you are sued, the individual suing your business can only pursue business assets.  For the dictionary definitions of LLC or Sole Proprietorship click on the provided links.


Your state will likely require that you obtain some sort of general business license.  In Washington state the license is called a Master Business License. The city you conduct business in will likely require you let them know so you can be taxed appropriately.

STEP #6: INSURANCE AND OR BONDS Miami Beach South Beach

As previously stated each state will have different requirements in regards to the type of insurance or bond that is needed.  In most cases you will need 1 million in omission and errors insurance.  The price for this will vary but for some point of reference, I personally pay around $750.00 per year for insurance.  This is a small price to pay to protect you in case something goes wrong with a private investigation.  The state of Washington will not renew a private investigation companies license without proof of insurance.


In order to determine what type of clients you would like to attract to your business, you must first determine what services you will offer.  Hopefully by this step you have the experience needed to perform the services you are selling.

There are several categories that private investigators typically fall into.  The following are a few examples of career paths:

1.)       Insurance Fraud Investigator

2.)   Domestic Investigator

3.)   Criminal Investigator

4.)   Missing Person/Skip Trace Investigator

5.)   Computer Forensic Investigator

6.)   Defense Investigator

There are many companies Miami Beach South Beach in existence today that do not specialize in any one thing.  These companies Miami Beach South Beach provide 20 to 30 different services.  This may work for many companies Miami Beach South Beach however I would suggest focusing on about 10 different services for your company that complements each other.

An example of the services an Insurance Fraud Investigator perform include the following:

1.)       Scene Private investigations (ie: slip and fall, vehicle accidents)

2.)   Recorded Statements

3.)   Alive and Well Checks

4.)   Activity Checks

5.)   Surveillance

6.)   Scene Private investigations

How do these 5 things complement each other?  Each one of these services may lead to another service.  For example, if a recorded statement is taken from a claimant and the statement reveals something that contradicts something with the individuals claim the client may add a surveillance assignment to the case.

If you conduct an activity check on a claimant and determine something of importance for the client, a recorded statement could be assigned or future surveillance on the individual.

Having a smaller number of services allows you to become viewed as someone that is specialized and possibly better than the company that offers more services but isn’t an authority  at anyone one thing.


One of the best things I did as a new private investigation companies owner was to join a private investigation association.  I joined WALI, which stands for the Washington Association of Legal Investigators.  So of the great features of belonging to an association is being able to reach out to veteran investigators for answers or recommendations that you can’t answer.  You will find out that no matter how much experience you have in the private investigation industry, Someone  always knows more.  In addition you are placed on the association directory and are given discount pricing a private investigation seminars held by your association.


It’s easier said than done but the importance of continuing your education can not be emphasized enough.  Go to seminars and take courses in things that you can add as services. You will find that this can be difficult as you try to work as much as possible while maintaining some sort of work-life balance in this industry.  Nevertheless you should attend seminars at the very least whenever possible.


There are many days at the beginning of my business that I would not have worked if it had not been for the relationships I had built with others in the industry.  Whether it be a client, potential client or former coworker, it is without a doubt in your best interest to build relationships.  If you build a good reputation then people will have no problem coming to you when they need help with work.

Financing for Private investigation Companies Miami Beach South Beach

One of the main challenges for private investigation firms is dealing with commercial and insurance clients that pay invoices in 30 to 60 days. Few private detective agencies can wait that long for payment, as most firms don’t have sizable financial reserves and need the money sooner to pay their own salaries, employees, and vendors.

However, corporate and insurance clients often demand credit terms as a condition of doing business. Convincing them to pay quickly is usually difficult – if not impossible.

Build a reserve Miami Beach South Beach

One way to solve this problem is to build a financial reserve. You can build a reserve slowly, as your company grows, by simply putting money into a special bank account every month until you have enough to feel comfortable. However, building a reserve is never easy. And private investigation firm owners are often uncomfortable having significant resources sitting in a bank account earning minimal interest.

Enhance your reserve by factoring invoices Miami Beach South Beach

While building a reserve is often the best solution, it’s not always possible. However, if your company is growing quickly and has a lot of resources tied in slow-paying invoices, your expenses may actually outpace your reserves. You can fix this problem, and accelerate your revenues, by factoring your invoices.

Invoice factoring solves the root cause of the cash flow problem: slow payments by insurance companies Miami Beach South Beach and corporate clients. However, your customers not required to pay sooner. Rather, a factoring company finances your invoices, providing your detective companies with funds to pay expenses. More importantly, invoice factoring minimizes the problems of offering payment terms to clients.

How does invoice factoring work Miami Beach South Beach?

The transaction is relatively simple. You sell your receivable to a factoring company who pays for it in two installments. The first installment, the advance, covers about 80% of the invoice, and wired to your bank account as soon as the work completed and invoiced.

Your company gets the remaining 20%, less the fee, once your insurance or corporate clients pay the invoice. Fees for the service vary, based on the credit quality of your invoices and your volume, from 1.5% to 3% per 30 days. To learn more, please read “How does factoring work?”

How does invoice factoring benefit my detective companies?

The most important benefit of invoice factoring is that you can offer payment terms to clients without worrying about slow payments. This benefit allows you to focus on operating and growing your business, rather than on chasing invoices.

Additionally, the size of the financing line is tied to your revenues and can grow as your sales increase. This flexibility provides critical support to growing private investigation agencies that are being held back by slow-paying clients.

Who can qualify Miami Beach South Beach?

The most important requirement to qualify for invoice factoring is to work with creditworthy insurance companies Miami Beach South Beach, law offices, and corporate clients. This requirement is critical because their ability to pay invoices supports the transaction. Additionally, your company should not have serious tax problems and your invoices should not pledged as collateral. Most small companies Miami Beach South Beach that meet this criterion can qualify, making invoice factoring an ideal option for small and growing private investigation firms that cannot get conventional business financing.

If you have the determination to relentlessly dig for facts, problem-solving ability, and good observation and listening skills, starting a private investigation service could be a challenging and financially rewarding business. skilled with written communication also important because the end product you deliver to your client a written investigative report. Because you will meet with prospective clients at their workplaces or homes, you don’t need to incur the expense of leasing an office.

  1. Take courses in private investigation. Taking classes will give you knowledge about the technical and legal aspects of being a private investigator, also called a PI, as well as the various types of work a PI does.
  1. Check with your state regarding requirements to becoming a licensed private investigator. You may need to pass a written examination. The state will conduct a background check on you, and you will pay a licensing fee. In some states, a license will not issued to your start-up companies if you don’t have prior experience in the private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach. Consider working for other licensed companies until you have accumulated the necessary work hours to apply for a license for your own company.
  1. Specialize in a small number of services. This will help you focus your marketing efforts and sharpen your skills. Popular services are locating stolen or lost property, securing evidence for a defense lawyer to present in a court case, conducting surveillance for husbands or wives who suspect their spouses are cheating, and helping insurance companies Miami Beach South Beach investigate claims that may be suspicious.
  1. Survey agencies in your region and find out what they charge for similar services in order to help you to devise your own rate schedule.
  1. Purchase necessary equipment. Start with basic PI tools such as a camera, tape recorder and home computer with high-speed Internet access. As your revenues build, add more sophisticated tools such as equipment to detect when an office bugged so you can work on industrial espionage cases.
  1. Obtain private investigator software. Online research is one of the tricks of the PI’s trade. Online services can help you perform tasks like searching for missing persons and finding unlisted phone numbers.
  1. Write and rehearse the sales pitch you will give to prospective clients. Make sure you present an image of reliability and professionalism. Show empathy for the client’s problem and an eagerness to help. Be personable.
  1. Network with local law firms to find corporate clients. Have business cards and brochures printed to send to insurance companies Miami Beach South Beach. Advertise in local telephone directories, both print and online. Make sure all of your marketing materials reflect why your services are better than those of competing agencies. Focus on the skills you have that make your service stand out.

Building trust and showing expertise the key ingredients used by private investigation companies Miami Beach South Beach in their quest to find more clients. You also must find ways to stand out from the competition, such as by becoming an expert in specific investigative techniques or using cutting-edge tools important to your target market. Before you choose marketing techniques, learn everything you can about your prospective clients, whether they’re individuals needing private investigations or corporations that require background checks, labor relations or litigation services.

Speaking and Writing

Speaking at events that your target market attends gives you a way to show your expertise in investigating while getting in front of potential clients. Find appropriate venues, such as addressing the chamber of commerce if your target market consists of corporations. Send proposals to speak at human resources conferences if you primarily work on employee misconduct cases.

If you like to write, work up articles about techniques and trends or how to choose investigative services

And submit the pieces to regional business magazines and local newspapers.


Develop an elevator pitch, and use it at networking events that your target market attends

Including the chamber of commerce events if you primarily sell your services to corporations.

Use your pitch to tell a quick story about one of your recent clients, or identify a common problem your audience has

Such as a business owner wishing he could verify prospective employees’ backgrounds before he hires them.

Form referral partnerships with companies Miami Beach South Beach that cater to the same target market as you do

Such as law firms, financial institutions, insurance agencies and accounting firms. When you meet with your referral partners

Provide brochures and copies of articles you’ve written about investigating so they recognize the type of clients you want to work with.


Build a website that helps clients feel they can trust you. While confidentiality is critical in the business, you still can post case studies from corporations or testimonials from individuals without using their names. Mention your credentials, including your license number.

List any special training you’ve received

Such as workshops where you or your staff have learned new investigative techniques and tools.

Provide downloadable PDF forms on your site that companies Miami Beach South Beach can fill out for due diligence requests

Pre-employment screening or claims private investigations.

Add a downloadable retainer agreement so clients understand how you bill for ongoing services and expenses and how your firm reports results.

Direct Marketing

Mail a direct marketing letter to corporations focusing on a few services you offer, such as handling background checks, criminal private investigations, corporate due diligence or employee compensation claims. Begin the letter by identifying a common problem the market faces; for example, ask if they think one of their employees is faking an injury in order to receive worker’s compensation. If you sell due diligence or auditing services, use statements that mention the risks the company takes in not knowing everything about the business they want to invest in or buy.



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