Background checks have become commonplace when hiring new workers. Small businesses, large companies, and even individuals can run full background checks on almost anyone. Unfortunately, many people fail to consider the cost of a background check and choose to use expensive background check companies.

The good news is that there’s another answer. Online background check tools like make it easy to run a background check on almost anyone but for a fraction of the cost. We’ll cover what a background check is, how much it costs, and where to get one below.

What Is a Background Check?

A background check is a process a company or individual uses to verify someone’s information. Background checks verify someone’s identity, check for criminal records, and much more. Depending on who performs the background check, the results may vary.

Large corporations or small websites may also run background checks, so the type you want to use depends on your needs.

What Information Comes Up on a Background Check?

Background checks can be used for many reasons, so the information may vary depending on why you’re running one. That said, the most common information that appears on a background check is someone’s criminal record and social security information. However, more information may be available on a background check based on the company or tool that searches for someone’s public records.

The common information found on a background check includes:

  • Social security number
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Criminal records
  • Date of birth
  • Full name
  • Traffic records
  • Court records
  • Sex offender status
  • Education verification
  • Credit history

Background checks may include some or all of this information.

Why Do Companies Run Background Checks?

In short, companies run background checks to verify an employee’s identity. Without a background check, potential employees can lie on their resumes, not admit to crimes, and even use a fake name. Therefore, background checks are essential for verifying the information of the person you’re looking to hire.

Are There Different Types of Background Checks?

Yes, there are several different types of background checks. Background checks for specific jobs may look for specific information. For example, individuals who want to work at a bank must pass a credit history check. Due to their status as fiduciaries (banks), having a good credit history is almost always required by law.

Some other types of background checks include:

  • Criminal background checks
  • Driving records background checks
  • E-verify checks
  • Office of the Inspector General (IOG) background checks
  • Drug testing and medication records (military)
  • Background checks that verify someone’s professional license

Can Anyone Run a Background Check?

Yes, anyone can run a background check. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), it’s legal for people to search through public records databases to find information about people. Still, there are some situations where it’s not legal to run a background check on someone. You can’t run background checks on someone for the following reasons:

  • They don’t consent or have specifically declined
  • Domestic help (nannies, caregivers)
  • Current employees
  • Potential employees who haven’t consented to a background check

Other than these reasons, it’s legal for just about anyone to run a background check on someone.

Still, you need to be careful. According to experts who specialize in criminal defense law, you can get in trouble if you run a background check on someone, even if they provide verbal consent. To be safe, you should always ask for written consent before issuing any background checks, regardless if they aren’t a protected class.

How Much Does a Background Cost?

Background checks vary in price depending on where you get them done. When hiring employees, most background checks cost between $30 and $50 per employee.

On the high end, for more in-depth background checks, the cost may be upwards of $100 per employee. Therefore, it’s important to consider the type of background check you need before you get started.

Are There Free Background Check Search Tools?

Yes, there are some free background check search tools. These tools are typically found on United States government websites or free public records search tools. While free background check search tools can be effective, getting the results takes a long time. Additionally, there may be some inaccuracies.

How Much Do Background Checks From Background Check Companies Cost?

Background checks from background check companies cost the most and range from $30 to $100. These are the most in-depth types of background checks you can get (for employees), so it’s worth the money for large companies. However, the benefits of working with background check companies aren’t always worth it if you’re a small business owner or simply want to learn more about someone.

How Much Do Online Background Checks Cost?

Online background checks are the most affordable and cost between $5 and $50. Depending on the type of background check and the website you’re using, the cost may vary. In fact, some websites like provide you with some results free of charge. When you want to run a background check on your own, that’s when you use an online background check tool.

What’s the Best Way To Run a Background Check?

The best way to run a background check on someone is to use an affordable website like The Information website has a criminal records search tool that helps you find information about someone using their first and last name.

What Information Is Available With an Background Check? background checks are thorough and use accurate records to compile their checks. When you run a background check on someone using, you’ll find the following information about them:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Marriage records
  • Divorce records
  • Traffic records
  • Driving records
  • Court records
  • Sex offender status
  • Phone number

Keep in mind that you might find some or all of this information about someone when you run a background check. Ultimately, what appears on a report depends on the individual’s background, so results will vary.

What’s the Best Way for a Large Company To Run a Background Check?

Large companies that hire a lot of employees benefit from using professional background check services. Examples include background check companies or even government agencies. Many pricing packages are available for companies that run background checks on many employees at once.

Additionally, it’s easier to work with a company when you’re looking for more than someone’s criminal record. For example, you have to go through special channels for each state to access someone’s credit history.

What’s the Best Way for Small Businesses To Run a Background Check?

The best way for small businesses to run a background check is to use a more affordable online tool. Online background check tools like provide you with enough information to decide whether or not an employee is a good fit. Plus, online background check search tools are more cost-effective.

Final Thoughts

In a world where information is king, it’s best to know as much as possible about someone before you work with them. After all, it’s easy for anyone to lie about who they are when applying for a job.

The good news is that great background check tools are available to help. makes it easy to run a background check on almost anyone with only their full name. Plus, it’s among the most affordable options.