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Best Background Check Services 2016

We know that businesses' background-check needs vary depending on their size, industry and many other factors. We researched and reviewed dozens of background check services and websites, and came up with the ones we think are best for a variety of business types. Here is a roundup of our best picks and an explanation of how we chose them.

Not sure you know enough about choosing a background check service yet? See what the experts we interviewed advise in our Background Check Buying Guide. And then head back here to see our best picks again.

Pre-employ offers a wide range of background check services designed specifically for small businesses. Its large selection of background check plans provides the options of paying only for the services needed. We were most impressed with the high level of customer service the company offers and how easy its background reports are to read and navigate. Go here for a full review of Pre-employ's background check services.

GoodHire gives very small businesses the ability to purchase background checks one at a time and as needed. Of all of the services we looked into, few were more forthcoming about their service plans and pricing than GoodHire. We liked that the specifics of each plan and its pricing were readily available on the GoodHire website. Additionally, the service's online system is extremely user-friendly. Go here for a full review of GoodHire's background check services.

BackgroundReport.com is one of only a handful of DIY background check websites that can be legally used for pre-employment screening. The website, which is convenient and simple to use, involves job candidates in the background screening process. It not only has them consent to the background check, but also gives them an opportunity to respond to any red flags that are uncovered. Go here for a full review of BackgroundReport.com's background check services.

Editor’s Note: Looking for a background check service? Fill out the form below to get free quotes from our vendor partners.

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eNannySource conducts background checks on any household employee, not just nannies. The company offers several levels of screening options and the ability to build custom screening plans. eNannySource simplifies the process by completely handling the candidate approval process and returning results via email. Go here for a full review of eNannySource's background check services.

HireRight offers a comprehensive suite of background screenings, include an abundance of those designed specifically for healthcare industry workers. In addition, they conduct deep criminal history searches and provide a wide range of verifications, such as those for past education and employment. Out of all of the services we considered, few offered a wider selection of screenings than HireRight. We were also impressed with HireRight's online portal, which is customized for each user, and its top-notch customer service. Go here for a full review of HireRight's background check services.

Our best picks include four full-service background check services (good for employee background checks) and one online background check service. For full reviews of less expensive, DIY online background check services, visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews. See the box below to understand the difference.

Credit: Anita Rahman

To determine the best background check services for both small businesses and very small businesses, we started by listing more than 50 of the vendors that conduct employee background checks. These included a combination of vendors we found via online searches and those we found through interviews with small businesses.

Then, we narrowed down that list by eliminating vendors that didn't specialize in employee background checks and those that didn't work specifically with small businesses. We ultimately settled on 12 services to consider as best picks: HireRight, GoodHire, Employment Screening Resources, Proforma Screening, Accurate Background, EBI Inc., InfoMart, Justifacts, Pre-employ, Private Eyes, Employment Screening Services and Background Info USA. (See the full list of background check services and their websites below.)

For our category focusing on medical practices, we started with the same list as the one we used for our business categories. However, we only considered companies that offered specific services for the healthcare industry. We then narrowed down the list by focusing on companies that work with small medical offices, and excluded those that work with just hospitals or home health care services. We ultimately settled on 13 background check services to consider as best picks for this category: Accurate Background, Carco Group, Corra, CrimCheck, EasyBackgrounds, EBI, Inc., Employee Screen IQ, Employment Screening Resources, HireRight, InfoMart, PreCheck, SterlingBackCheck and Verified Credentials.

Next, we reviewed sample background check reports, read user comments and interviewed more business owners. We also contacted each company's customer service department and posed as would-be business owners.

Our process involves putting ourselves in the mind-set of a small business owner and gathering the data that would be readily available to such an individual. We perform all of our research by visiting company websites, making calls to customer service and interviewing real users.

In all, we analyzed each service based on the following factors:

  • Cost
  • Types of criminal searches conducted
  • Types of verification services conducted
  • Types of healthcare industry searches conducted (Only for the medical practice category)
  • Other types of searches conducted
  • Ease of use
  • How easy the final reports are to access, read and understand
  • How long the searches take
  • Customer service
  • The extra services the company offers, such as drug testing and I-9 verification management
  • Better Business Bureau complaints

Methodology for our best pick for the DIY online website category:

For this category, we used a methodology similar to that detailed above. However, we only considered websites that abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and that are legally allowed to conduct background checks for pre-employment purposes. We ultimately settled on four websites to examine further: BackgroundChecks.com, FindOutTheTruth.com, BackgroundReport.com and BackgroundSearcher.com.

Methodology for our best pick for the household employees category:

For this category, we also used a methodology similar to that detailed above. However, for this category, we only considered companies that offered specific options for household employees. The companies we examined were Background Checks for Nannies, Childcare Background Search, GoNannies, GTM, HireSafe, eNannySource, ESR Screened Caregiver, NannyVerify and Safelutions. (See the full list of background check services specializing in household employees, and their websites, below.)

Here is a full list of background check services and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

A-Check  A-Check offers a comprehensive suite of background screening solutions. The company provides each client with services customized to its specific industry and particular organizational needs. The services offered include criminal record searches, education, past employment, license and references verification, motor vehicle records searches and credit reports. In addition, A-Check provides I-9 and E-Verify services. acheckglobal.com

Accurate Information Systems  Accurate Information Systems offers a wide range of domestic employee screening services, including state, county and federal criminal history searches, drug testing, sex offender searches, civil searches, motor vehicle records searches, and employment and education verification. accinfosys.com

AccurateNow AccurateNow, from Accurate Background, provides automated background check services for small and midsize businesses. AccurateNow offers simple ordering; easy-to-read reports; and FCRA, state and locally compliant results. The company conducts Social Security number traces, address history checks, seven-year criminal history checks, sex offender registry checks, motor vehicle records checks, and education and employment verification. Customers can choose from a variety of add-on services to further customize their specific background check program. accuratenow.com

Advanced Research Systems  Advanced Research Systems' (ARS) employment screening services extend throughout the United States, Canada and more than 100 countries. The company's Quickhire program is designed to meet the needs of small and medium-size businesses that don't hire in large numbers yet still want to implement a comprehensive background screening program. The company conducts criminal court record searches; employment, education and professional license verification; civil court searches; driving-record searches; and drug testing. arsbackgrounds.com

Advanced Surveillance Group  Advanced Surveillance Group is a full-service licensed private detective agency that provides complete pre-employment screening and current employee screening, ranging from a basic overview to a comprehensive background investigation. Some of the specific services offered include name, address and Social Security number verification; driving-record and driver's-license searches; criminal conviction searches; prior employment, education, past earnings and professional license verifications; and civil court record searches. The company also conducts character reference interviews. asginvestigations.com

A.I.R. Pre-Employment Screening Services  A.I.R. Pre-Employment Screening Services offers comprehensive background checks that include criminal record searches, sex offender record searches, driving records, identity verifications, credit reports, employment and education verifications, and annual employee rescreening. air-prehire.com

AmericanChecked AmericanChecked is a nationally accredited background screening services provider that offers HR-XML technology solutions that are flexible and customizable to meet companies' individual screening needs. The company conducts criminal history searches, court searches, Social Security number verification, motor vehicle record searches, credit searches, employment and education verification, and drug testing. americanchecked.com

Aurico  Aurico provides background screening, drug screening, selection assessments and other related HR services. Its clients range from small startups to Fortune 500 enterprises. The company conducts criminal and civil records searches; identity and credit checks; and employment, education and license verification. aurico.com

Background Info USA  Background Info USA is a provider of on-demand employee screening services, tenant background checks, volunteer background checks, drug screening, employee screening and I-9 employment eligibility solutions. Employee background check services include credit reports; Social Security number validation; address trace searches; National Sex Offender Registry searches; education and employment verification; driver's license history; and statewide, federal and county criminal record searches. The company also conducts substance abuse screening. backgroundinfousa.com

BackTrack  BackTrack offers a variety of services, including background checks, drug screening, I-9 employment verification, assessment testing, exit interviews and applicant tracking. The company's background checks include criminal and court record searches; employment, education and credential verification; credit history checks; and driving history searches. hbacktracker.com

C3 Intelligence — C3 Intelligence provides pre-employment screening services to a range of clients, including multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and individuals. The company offers a wide variety of search options, including criminal history searches; motor vehicle reports; civil and financial searches; and employment, education, professional license, military and reference verifications. C3 Intelligence also provides E-Verify/form I-9 compliance services, drug testing solutions and tenant screening services. c3intelligence.com

Carco Group Carco's background checks include tracking, analysis and data verification. To ensure accurate and complete findings of its employment screenings, the company reverifies adverse information prior to dissemination. Specific employment screening aspects include credit checks, criminal history searches, Social Security number traces, I-9/E-Verify services, employment and education verification, driving record searches and social media checks. carcogroup.com

The Cedalius Group — The Cedalius Group provides comprehensive background and screening research that includes criminal records, verifications, drug testing and consulting services. The company works with a wide variety of industries, providing specialized programs for both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. The Cedalius Group researches all employment-level positions, from executive board members, corporate officers and credentialed professionals to students, volunteers and hourly associates. thecedaliusgroup.com

Checkr — Checkr allows businesses to run background checks automatically and securely with its Web application or RESTful API. The company's color-coded dashboard makes it easy to browse and evaluate background reports that include national and county criminal records, driving history, Social Security number verification and previous addresses. Checkr, which is compliant with state and federal employment laws, uses modern encryption methods to both transfer and store user information. checkr.com

ClearStar ClearStar offers a full suite of background and drug screening services. The company conducts criminal history searches, alias and address history checks, verification services, motor vehicle record checks, credit checks, civil court checks and post-hire and post-offer verifications. clearstar.net

Corporate Investigations Corporate Investigations Inc. (CII) is a national provider of background check services. The company works with both small and large employers in a variety of industries. Its services include criminal records checks; Social Security number verification; I-9 employment verification; motor vehicle record searches; government sanction checks; education, employment and professional license verifications; reference checks; credit checks; and drug screening. ciilink.com

Corporate Screening Corporate Screening offers a range of pre-employment screening services, including Social Security number traces; credit reports; driver history reports; criminal record searches; education, employment and reference verifications; and drug and health screenings. corporatescreening.com

Corra Group Corra Group specializes in pre-employment background checks, employment screening and corporate research. The company conducts criminal history searches; civil records searches; Social Security number traces; motor vehicle driving records searches; social media background checks; and education, employment and professional license verifications. Corra's Web-based ordering system allows businesses to order background checks and other screening services online, monitor results, view reports in progress and securely archive candidate results. corragroup.com

Crimcheck Crimcheck specializes in employment screening and background checks. The company investigates criminal cases from more than 10,000 local courts and 3,500 county courts in all 50 states. Its background screening services include comprehensive criminal checks; Social Security number traces; motor vehicle reports; employment credit reports; employment verification; educational verification; and personal and professional reference checks. Additionally, the company's eFetch customer management portal allows you to order, track and evaluate your requests seamlessly. crimcheck.net

Data Facts  Since 1989, Data Facts has been a provider of background screening, assessment screening, drug testing, volunteer/student screening and applicant tracking. The company's background screenings include criminal record searches, credit reports, drug screening, education verification, employment verification, I-9 and E-Verify services, and motor vehicle record searches. datafacts.com

easyBackgrounds — easyBackgrounds specializes in pre-employment screening and employee background checks. The service conducts criminal records searches at the county, state and federal levels, and can verify past work history, education and professional references. Additional types of checks the company conducts include civil records and bankruptcies, as well as motor vehicle reports. easyBackgrounds also offers drug testing, applicant tracking systems, and career center and compliance tools. easybackgrounds.com

EBI Inc.  EBI's suite of pre-employment background checks is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Its services can be customized to match companies' needs and corporate objectives. EBI's SMART Screening Technology aims to ensure all possible results are found, even if a candidate's full name, nicknames, aliases, date of birth and former residences are unknown. Specific types of searches include Social Security number traces, credit report checks, criminal record searches, driver qualification services, and verification and credentialing. ebiinc.com

Edge Information Management  Edge Information Management Inc. is a national provider of employment screening services. The company serves a variety of industries, including health care, retail, home services, manufacturing, construction, transportation, government, financial and nonprofit. Edge conducts criminal records searches, employment and education verifications, Social Security number traces, civil court record searches, driving history searches and credit check reports. edgeinformation.com

EmployersChoiceOnline.com EmployersChoiceOnline.com offers a range of screening searches, including employment, tenant, vendor and nanny screening. The company provides access to an array of information in more than 200 countries. Employment screening services include credit history searches; on-site civil and criminal record searches; driving history record searches; education, employment and license verifications; Social Security number traces and workers' compensation searches. Nanny screening services include civil lawsuit searches; credit history searches; criminal history searches; driver's history, education, employment and license verifications; and sex offender searches. employerschoiceonline.com

EmployeeScreenIQ  EmployeeScreenIQ is a global employment screening resource that provides clients with information needed to make smart hiring decisions. The company provides a comprehensive suite of employment background screening services, including criminal background checks, résumé verification services and substance abuse screening. EmployeeScreenIQ offers a special package specifically for small businesses that hire fewer than five employees a month. employeescreen.com

Employment Record Service Employment Record Service (ERS) is a provider of employment screening, verification and credentialing services to public, private and government partners worldwide. The company conducts nationwide criminal background checks, sex offender registry searches, motor vehicle records searches, credit history checks, Social Security and identity verification, employment and education verification, and reference interviews. ershire.com

Employment Screening Associates Employment Screening Associates is a full-service research company specializing in pre-employment and corporate intelligence solutions. The company conducts employment and education verifications, criminal history searches, Social Security number traces, motor vehicle reports and credit history checks. emplscreen.com

Employment Screening Inc. Employment Screening Inc. offers a full spectrum of background screening and drug testing services that can be customized according to industry. Services include background checks, drug testing, driving records searches, Social Security number traces, sex offender checks, education verification, employment verification and professional license verification. The company also conducts child care provider checks. employmentscreeninginc.com

Employment Screening Resources  Founded in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a nationwide background screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. The company offers a variety of background screening services and solutions to promote safe workplaces. The specific types of searches conducted include identity and credit checks, Social Security number traces and verifications, criminal records checks, sex offender registry searches, civil records checks, driving records checks, and employment and education verifications. ESR also conducts drug testing. esrcheck.com

Employment Screening Services Inc. Employment Screening Services offers pre-employment screening solutions in a variety of packages. The company's background check services include criminal history searches, credit reports, motor vehicle reports, education and employment verifications, drug testing, and Social Security number traces. Each of the company's individual reports has a "discrepancies" field to track the differences between what the applicant claims on his or her résumé or employment application and what the company uncovers in its investigation. employscreen.com

Employment Screening Services LLC  Employment Screening Services LLC has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience. The company conducts drug testing, criminal record searches by county, national criminal database searches, Social Security number verification, and employment and education verification. esswny.com

First Advantage  First Advantage delivers more than 16 million background screenings annually, with solutions designed to ensure job candidates have the background skills, attitudes and aptitudes for the positions for which they are interviewing. The company conducts identity verifications, criminal record searches, fingerprinting and drug testing. fadv.com

GIS  GIS is a nationally accredited background check company. In addition to background checks, the company provides drug testing, onboarding and tax credit solutions. GIS serves a wide variety of clients, from small organizations to Fortune 100 and 500 companies. geninfo.com

Global Backgrounds Global Backgrounds offers both employee and nanny background checks. Employee background checks include address history, Social Security number traces, national criminal database and sex offender registry searches, a criminal court records search, a federal criminal courts search and employment and education verification. Nanny background checks include address history, Social Security number trace, national criminal database and sex offender registry searches, a criminal court records search, a federal criminal courts search and reference verifications. globalbackgrounds.com

*GoodHire  GoodHire was our best pick for very small businesses. GoodHire is a background screening service offering scalable FCRA-compliant solutions to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes. The specific types of services include Social Security number traces; address history; national criminal records checks; county criminal courts checks; domestic and global terrorist watch list checks; sex offender list checks; education, employer and professional license verifications; and motor vehicle records checks. GoodHire also conducts drug screening. goodhire.com. Read our full review here.

*HireRight  HireRight specializes in helping organizations of all sizes efficiently implement, manage and control their background screening programs. The company offers flexible, tailored employment screening solutions encompassing more than 150 different service offerings. The company's HireRight Express is designed specifically for small businesses. Specific screening services include criminal background checks, identity checks, verifications, drug and health screening, I-9 and E-Verify, candidate experience and extended workforce screening. hireright.com. Read our full review here.

HireSafe  HireSafe has been conducting background checks for businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries since 1997. It offers a pay-as-you-go format. The company's background screening services include national criminal database searches; county, federal and state criminal record searches; Social Security number validation and verification; and employment, education and professional license verification. hiresafe.com

Human Assets South  Human Assets South provides background screening and drug testing services. Specific background screening services include employment, education, license and credential verification; credit reports; motor vehicle reports; workers' compensation claim histories; National Sex Offender Registry searches; and county, state, civil and federal criminal history searches. hasouth.com

InfoMart  Founded in 1989, InfoMart is a background screening company that provides criminal history, credit and driving records, as well as education and employment verifications, for businesses worldwide. A certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, InfoMart is a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), and has achieved NAPBS accreditation. infomart-usa.com

Insperity  For more than 28 years, Insperity has been providing human resources services, including employment screening, human capital management, payroll software, insurance services, retirement services, organizational planning, recruiting services, expense management, and time and attendance systems. The company's employment screening services include Social Security number traces, criminal record searches, driving record checks, and employment, education, credential and reference verification. insperity.com

Integrated Screening Partners  Integrated Screening Partners (ISP) is a public-records research company that provides customizable pre-employment screening solutions. Services include criminal history checks, employment and education verifications, drug screens and physicals. integratedscreening.com

IntelliCorp  IntelliCorp is a nationwide provider of background checks and employment screening solutions. The company provides background screening for businesses in a variety of industries, including business services, construction, educational services, finance, insurance, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, nonprofit and social assistance, and retail and consumer services. Specific types of searches conducted include criminal records; sex offender records; Social Security number verification; education, employment and professional license verification; civil records; credit reports; and motor vehicle reports. IntelliCorp also conducts drug testing. intellicorp.net

Justifacts  Founded in 1982, Justifacts provides background screening services to companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Services include employment history and license verification, criminal record searches, reference checks, motor vehicle records checks, address history, drug testing and sex offender searches. justifacts.com

Orange Tree Employment Screening ­— Orange Tree Employment Screening provides employment screening services to corporations across the United States. Specific services include criminal background research, driving record research, education verification, employment verification, professional license verification, Social Security number traces and locator services, and occupational health solutions, such as drug and alcohol testing. Orange Tree's technology is designed to easily integrate with other platforms, such as applicant tracking systems. orangetreescreening.com

PeopleFacts PeopleFacts provides thorough and timely employee background check information to human resources departments in a wide array of industries, ranging from transportation, staffing, health care and education, to banking, telecommunications and manufacturing. The company conducts criminal history searches, civil court records searches, drug and alcohol screening, identity verification, motor vehicle reports, and education and employment verification. peoplefacts.com

Peopletrail  Peopletrail has been providing employment background and screening services to businesses since 1994. The company offers a broad selection of background and employment screening services, including credit and identity reports, driving records searches, employment and education verification, criminal and civil record searches, corporate investigations and drug screening. peopletrail.com

Pinkerton  Pinkerton is a provider of risk management services and solutions for organizations throughout the world. The company offers a variety of employment background screening services, including background checks, fingerprinting, drug testing and I-9 verification. Pinkerton's background checks involve county, state, federal and international criminal history searches; sex offender searches; and civil court checks. Employment history and education verifications are also included. pinkerton.com/employment-screening

PreCheck  PreCheck's background check and employment qualification services are designed exclusively for healthcare organizations. PreCheck offers a SanctionsCheck, which ensures that anyone engaged with your facility is compliant with Medicare and Medicaid standards. The company's services extend beyond background verifications and credentialing to include outsourcing solutions to handle professional license management, health and drug testing, exclusion and sanction screening, immunization tracking and online I-9 and E-Verify processing. precheck.com

*Pre-employ  Pre-employ was our best pick for small businesses overall. Pre-employ offers background screening services to companies large and small. The services offered include county, state and federal criminal record searches; national and international criminal database searches; Social Security number traces and validations; sex offender registry searches; education, license, credential and employment verifications; credit report searches; and motor vehicle record checks. The company provides small business packages via its mybackgroundcheck.com website. preemploy.com. Read our full review here.

PreHire Screening Services  Oklahoma-based PreHire Screening Services is a nationwide pre-employment screening services provider to companies of all sizes. The company's wide range of background screening services are utilized for numerous purposes, including pre-employment screening, tenant screening, volunteer screening, student screening and contractor screening. Pre-employment services include criminal record searches, driving record searches, and employment and education verifications. prehirescreening.com

Private Eyes  Private Eyes Inc. provides comprehensive pre-employment screening services, such as background checks, education verification, Social Security background checks, drug screening, physicals, driver qualification file maintenance and motor vehicle record checks. The company works with more than 500 organizations of all sizes in health care, transportation, retail, food and beverage, and other industries. privateeyesbackgroundchecks.com

Proforma Screening Solutions  Proforma Screening Solutions delivers a wide range of background checks and background screening services for companies large and small. For the needs of smaller businesses, the company offers an express online background screening system called E-Authorize Express, which enables managers to select a background screening package. Packages include Social Security number validation, address history, national criminal database searches, terrorist watch list searches, sex offender registry searches, county and federal criminal records searches, and motor vehicle reports. proformascreening.com

Research Associates  Research Associates Inc. has been conducting employee screening services since 1953. Some of the details the company provides are personal interviews with former employers and references; chronological reviews of work and education history; education and license verification; credit and financial information; criminal history reports; driving records searches; and civil and bankruptcy court records. researchassociatesinc.com

SafeHiring Solutions  SafeHiring Solutions is a comprehensive risk management firm specializing in background checks, visitor management/volunteer management software and automated reference checking software. The company offers a paperless processing option that features an embedded link on each employer's website that allows job candidates to electronically sign authorizations and input their information. safehiringsolutions.com

Sarma  Sarma is a nationwide provider of employment screening services. The company's services include county criminal reports, credit reports, drug screening, education verification, federal criminal reports, I-9 verification, multistate criminal searches, motor vehicle reports, sex offender records and Social Security number traces. sarma.com

Shield Screening  Shield Screening is a full-service background screening firm. The company offers Social Security number traces; credit report checks; motor vehicle report checks; national, state and county criminal searches; National Sex Offender Registry searches; drug screening; and employment, education and professional license verification. shieldscreening.com

StarPoint Employment Screening  StarPoint Employment Screening offers a variety of screening needs, such as background checks that include criminal reports, motor vehicle driving records, employment verifications and employment credit checks. All reports are available immediately, except for employment verifications, which take no more than three days to complete. starpointemploymentscreening.com

SterlingBackcheck SterlingBackcheck provides employment screening and background check services for companies of all sizes and in all industries, including health care, manufacturing, staffing, retail and transportation. The company's background checks allow human resources professionals to search criminal records, check education and professional references, schedule drug tests and monitor employee arrests. In addition, SterlingBackcheck's background screening can be integrated into almost any online applicant tracking system or human resources information system. sterlingbackcheck.com

SurePayroll  SurePayroll's pre-employment screening services include background checks, behavioral assessments and skills testing. Background checks feature Social Security number traces, county and national criminal history searches, education and employment verifications, and motor vehicle reports. Once completed, background checks can be viewed in a background check management interface. surepayrollscreening.com

TalentWise  TalentWise offers a range of human resources services, including pre-employment screening. The company's screening portfolio includes hundreds of different FCRA-compliant products and services. TalentWise FastLane offers a set of on-demand, preconfigured employment background check and drug screening offerings specifically for small businesses. talentwise.com

Trak-1  Trak-1 is accredited by the NAPBS and offers FCRA-compliant screening services and reports for clients in multiple industries. The company conducts a variety of screening services, including criminal court record searches, Social Security number checks, motor vehicle reports, education and employment verifications, workers' compensation reports, credit history reports, and drug and alcohol screening. trak-1.com

Universal Background Screening  Universal Background Screening is a provider of background screening solutions, including a comprehensive selection of employment background checks and verifications, employee drug testing, employment physicals and compliance management services. The company conducts background checks on vendors, temporary staff, consultants, volunteers, students, executives and extended workforce. universalbackground.com

Validity Screening Solutions  Validity Screening Solutions offers employment-related background screenings and rechecks. The company conducts criminal and civil court record searches, as well as employment and education verifications. validityscreening.com

Verified Credentials  Verified Credentials is a background screening company that serves organizations across all industries, including Fortune 500 companies, hospitals and healthcare providers, and colleges and universities. The company conducts criminal background searches, academic, employment and professional license verifications, healthcare specific searches, drug testing and international screening. verifiedcredentials.com

Verified First — Verified First provides employment background checks, drug testing and E-Verify services. Your Verified First account enables you to run as many or as few searches as you need; you'll be billed only for what you use. To conduct a search with the system, simply enter basic employee information into the system, select databases and click search. Most results will be returned within seconds. You can run industry-specific reports against hundreds of databases in 50 states and 200 countries. verifiedfirst.com

VeriFirst Background Screening  VeriFirst Background Screening is a national provider of risk management and background screening services. The company conducts employment background checks that include searches of criminal records, credit history, employment and education verification, E-Verify workforce eligibility and drug testing. VeriFirst features an online background check consent portal and free applicant notification services. The company also conducts student housing and multifamily tenant screening, vendor screening and customer identification verification. verifirst.com

Here is a list of online background check websites:

AdvancedBackgroundChecks.com AdvancedBackgroundChecks.com helps you find people and learn more about them from public records and background checks. With the service, you can search current and previous addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, census records, business associates, marriage and divorce records, property records and bankruptcies. Free and paid memberships are available. advancedbackgroundchecks.com

BackgroundChecks.com  BackgroundChecks.com offers all types of background checks, including criminal background checks. The service's criminal database contains more than 525 million criminal records from more than 1,000 sources, including county court records, state repositories, departments of corrections, administrative offices of courts, state sex and violent offender registries, government exclusion lists and terrorist watch lists. This website abides by the FCRA regulations and can be used as part of the pre-employment hiring process. backgroundchecks.com

*BackgroundReport.com  BackgroundReport.com was our best pick for do-it-yourself background check websites. BackgroundReport.com provides online access to background reports for either yourself or someone else. The service offers instant online access to background information such as Social Security number validation, criminal and arrest records, bankruptcies, judgments, liens, address history, alias names and evictions. This website abides by the FCRA regulations and can be used as part of the pre-employment hiring process. backgroundreport.com. Read our full review here.

BackgroundSearcher.com  Members of Background Searcher get instant, unlimited access to the site's entire comprehensive selection of links to investigative databases, resources and search sites, including state, federal and local government public records resources. Background Searcher doesn't state on its website whether it abides by FCRA regulations. backgroundsearcher.com

BeenVerified  BeenVerified provides instant access to public records. The company aggregates up-to-date public record databases through its Web-based software. The service is not FCRA-compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. beenverified.com

CheckPeople.com  CheckPeople.com provides instant access to public records in one easy-to-read report. The online service specializes in finding criminal records. The site's comprehensive background check services cover criminal records, current and previous phone numbers, address histories, sex offender databases, property ownership records, marriage and divorce records, family member lists, and bankruptcy and tax lien history. CheckPeople.com is not a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act guidelines. checkpeople.com

eVerify  eVerify's comprehensive background reports are designed to uncover a wealth of information, including if a person was ever arrested or sued, has a criminal record, has filed for bankruptcy, was married or divorced, owns a property or a business, has an active warrant or has served time in jail. The service's databases has more than 2 billion records covering all 50 states. eVerify is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. everify.com

FindOutTheTruth.com  FindOutTheTruth.com provides private-investigator-assisted background checks, criminal records, employee screenings, tenant screenings and international criminal background checks. The service's reports are compiled using several different databases that contain billions of records across a variety of subjects. This website abides by the FCRA regulations and can be used as part of the pre-employment hiring process. findoutthetruth.com

FreeBackgroundCheck.org FreeBackgroundCheck.org has access to many extensive public record databases. Its technology enables the site to gather billions of public record information from various government and proprietary databases on millions of people around the world. With this service you can search for someone's court cases, contract information, arrest records, as well as sex offender status, birth, marriage and divorce records, and property and bankruptcy information. This service is not intended for pre-employment screening. freebackgroundcheck.org

Instant Checkmate  Instant Checkmate is a public records search engine that can perform online background checks instantly. You can search for anyone in the U.S. and get immediate access to their criminal records, related court documents, addresses, real age and known aliases. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. instantcheckmate.com

Intelius — Intelius is an information commerce company founded in 2003 that provides comprehensive online information about individuals, their histories and their connections to others. The company's reports and services range from basic people search results to detailed background reports to a comprehensive identity-theft protection service. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. intelius.com

KnowX  KnowX is used for finding information about businesses, people and assets, and discovering any critical relationships among them. With this website, you can run a background check on a business, locate assets or investigate property value through public records. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. knowx.com

PeopleFinders  PeopleFinders is a data-as-a-service provider for consumers and businesses seeking detailed insight on people, places and things in the United States.  PeopleFinders' data includes information on virtually every adult in the U.S., and has access to other unique data sources. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. peoplefinders.com

PeopleSmart — PeopleSmart is designed to help find people and connect with others. The service, which provides search access to contact information and public records, allows you to try to find someone by name, email, phone number and address. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. peoplesmart.com

PeopleWise  PeopleWise is a service to find information about people, businesses, assets and neighborhoods. It can help you discover any critical relationships among them. Perform people searches with PeopleWise to find people you know and more using public records information from across the nation compiled from official data sources. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening. peoplewise.com

US Search  US Search is an online provider of people search, background checks, phone number lookups and public records. The service is not FCRA compliant and is not intended for pre-employment screening.  ussearch.com

Verispy Verispy is a comprehensive background check service. The company offers data from private and public sources, as well as an advanced lookup system that allows for instant results. Types of records available via Verispy include bankruptcy history, address history, marriages and divorce history, property ownership, criminal records, sex offender records, business licenses, evictions, lawsuits, email addresses and social network profiles.Verispy is not a consumer reporting agency as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. verispy.com

Here is a list of background check companies that specialize in household employee screening and weren't listed above:

Background Checks for Nannies  Background Checks for Nannies offers background screening services from True Hire, a nationwide provider of background checks, pre-employment screening, comprehensive drug testing programs and a wide range of applicant tracking systems. Its services include identity reports; credit reports; driver's records; reference and credential reports; and criminal records at the county, state and federal levels. backgroundchecksfornannies.com

Childcare Background Search — Childcare Background Search is ananny background check company serving individual families and nanny placement agencies throughout the United States. The checks include national and county criminal checks, sex offender checks, driving history records and college education verification. childcarebackground.com

ESR Screened Caregiver  ESR Screened Caregiver, a service from nationwide accredited background check firm Employment Screening Resources, provides background screening services for employers of caregivers. The company offers three different background screening plans. Screening services include criminal history checks, sex offender searches and motor vehicle records. screenedcaregiver.com

*eNannySource  eNannySource was our best pick for household employee background checks. eNannySource has been conducting household employee background checks since 1994. The company's background checks — which include criminal history records, address history, Social Security number traces, driving reports and reference checks — are fully compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. eNannySource also serves as a job posting site for families looking for household help. enannysource.com. Read our full review here.

GoNannies  GoNannies is a subscription-based service that serves as an alternative to placement agencies. The company helps match families with nannies, sitters, housekeepers, personal assistants, elder caregivers and other domestic personnel. In addition to its matching services, the company offers three levels of background checks. Included in the various packages are criminal history searches, employment and education verification, and driver's license checks. gonannies.com

GTM  GTM offers a number of household employee services, including payroll and background checks. The company's background checks include Social Security number checks, credit checks, driver's license checks, criminal conviction searches and drug testing. gtm.com

NannyVerify  NannyVerify has been providing families with comprehensive, FCRA-compliant pre-employment background screening services since 1998. A third party, National Crime Search Inc., provides NannyVerify's background checks. The company offers a variety of background screening packages, as well as a la carte services, which include in-court county criminal records checks, motor vehicle reports, and education and employment verification. nannyverify.com

Safelutions  Safelutions offers a range of security services, including background checks, for businesses, schools, organizations and household employers. The company offers three different nanny background check packages that include thorough investigations into previous employment, tax records, references, criminal records, driving records, lawsuits and sex offender registries. safelutions.com

Editor’s Note: Looking for a background check service? Fill out the form below to get free quotes from our vendor partners.

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Are you a background check service that would like to be added to this list and possibly considered for our next round of reviews? Please feel free to contact Jeanette Mulvey at jmulvey@purch.com.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.