Background Investigations

Parrent Smith Investigations has high standards for the background investigations we provide our clients. No stone is ever left unturned and nothing is "routine" for us. Unlike many investigative agencies, we do not simply return printouts from Lexis or Westlaw searches. We provide well-written reports that include a summary of significant findings, an analysis of the information we have uncovered and recommendations for further investigation when warranted, as well as a compilation of the database information we have found in an easy-to-read format. Our background investigations can include both public records and database research, as well as in-depth personal profiles based on interviews with associates.

Types of Background Investigations

Our investigators have experience in conducting background investigations for a variety of purposes, including witness, plaintiff or defendant backgrounds in litigation - civil or criminal, background investigations for financial transactions and suspected fraud, and pre-employment background checks (see below for a special note on pre-employment background checks). To conduct a thorough background check, our investigators search online databases, review public documents at courthouses and municipal offices throughout the country and, when requested, conduct interviews with a subject's professional and personal references. Except when prohibited by law (see below), we have the resources and know how to dig back through anyone's background to the very earliest years of their lives.

Some clients want to limit investigations to certain aspects of a company's or individual's history, while others want complete background information. Parrent Smith Investigations works with clients to provide a report that will fit with their individual needs and budgets.

Standard Background Checks on Individuals include

  • Social Security number verification
  • Aliases, if any
  • Address histories
  • Property records
  • Business associations
  • Fictitious name filings
  • Professional licenses and certifications
  • Bankruptcy records
  • Liens and judgment histories
  • UCC filings
  • Criminal records
  • Civil litigation, federal and state
  • U.S. Tax Court Regulatory sanctions
  • Employment histories
  • Workers Compensation records
  • Motor vehicles registered (some states)
  • Media coverage
  • Deep internet search


Company Reports can include:

  • Financial and operating history
  • Management structure and issues
  • Ownership interests, including hidden owners
  • Litigation involving the company
  • Environmental liabilities
  • Assets and revenues, including overstatements
  • Unrealistic projections
  • Unrecorded or understated liabilities, liens, judgments or expenses
  • Executive reputations
  • General business reputation
  • Misrepresentations and non-disclosure of material facts


A Note on Pre-Employment Background Investigations

There are many legal constraints, both state and federal, on how pre-employment background investigations are performed. Those laws apply to prospective employers using their human resources departments to perform the work, as well as to investigative agencies. For example, in California, the criminal history of a prospective employee can only be reviewed for the prior seven years, and reporting information beyond that legal barrier can result in the imposition of severe fines.

Parrent Smith Investigations and Research keeps abreast of the constantly changing legal requirements surrounding these issues and works in a manner that never places our clients at risk.

See also our article: Not All Background Checks are Equal

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