Who Are Private Detectives Clients?

When people hear the term private detectives, the image that pops into most people’s heads is of a mustachioed sleuth in a nondescript car following a cheating husband to catch him in the arms of his mistress. While private detectives certainly handle all sorts of cases involving cheating spouses and infidelity, they also offer a much broader range of services for a diverse client base than you might expect.

Private detectives have many different kinds of clients ranging from the aforementioned domestic clients looking for information on their spouses to huge corporations doing their due diligence on new hires.

Today’s article breaks down a few of the most common types of clients who hire private detectives.


Private Individuals

It’s true that the stereotypical client of a private detective is a husband or wife who has suspicions about the behaviour of their spouse. But it’s a stereotype for a reason. Suspicious spouses always have been and always will be a typical client for private detectives.

However, individuals hire private investigators for many more reasons than unfaithful partners. People may need sleuthing services for private investigations or security, the search and investigation of missing persons, or social media and internet investigations.


Business Owners

To be a successful business owner, you need to know everything you can about your business partners and their past. That’s why many business owners will hire private detectives to investigate potential business partners before making any official agreements. A private investigation can turn up issues with the subject’s finances, credibility, criminal history, credit, negative media stories, or any other issues that could influence a business deal. If a private detective finds information that the subject never divulged to their future business partner, that’s a major red flag.

On top of investigating individuals, businesses also commonly hire detectives to perform security and integrity audits. If a business is suspicious that their sales team is wasting time driving around town instead of hunting down leads, a private detective can find out. The same concept can apply to many facets of various businesses. Are employees stealing from the cash register? Has there been a data leak, and no one knows the source? Private detectives can get the answers businesses are craving.


Human Resource Departments

Surprisingly, human resources departments are frequent clients of private detectives. Human resource departments are responsible for hiring employees who are a good fit for the role and the company culture. What’s not surprising is that many job applicants are willing to lie on their resumes and in their interviews to land a gig. To ensure the company is hiring the best candidates, they will often turn to private detectives to verify the candidates’ claims and conduct thorough background checks.

Common questions human resource departments ask include:

  • Does the candidate have a criminal record?
  • Do their resumes check out?
  • Did they attend the schools they claim they did?
  • Are their past employment records accurate?
  • Do they have good credit?
  • Are they a sex offender?


Rear view of gray-haired police detective looking pictures in front of the wall with map, pictures and adhesive notes on it, and searching for a lead on his case


Similar to how human resource departments will hire a private detective for new hires, landlords will new the same with potential tenants. Many landlords are extremely careful when choosing the people who will be living on their property, and private detectives are the best way to vet applicants thoroughly. The last thing a landlord wants is to accept a tenant who will either damage the property, be last with rent checks, or both. By checking an applicant’s housing history, credit score, criminal record, and eviction history, landlords can make an informed decision.



Another common type of client of private detectives is lawyers and attorneys. When your profession is information-based, the services of private detectives can be extremely helpful. Private investigators can help lawyers find information regarding the opposing parties’ backgrounds, interview potential witnesses, and help in the litigation process. On top of that, they can help lawyers track down witnesses or serve subpoenas to folks who are hard to find.


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