Busting PI Myths: Industry Edition

We’ve discussed this before, but sadly, we still see people doing it. In Alberta, a private investigator must posses an individual license under the Security Services And Investigators Act. This requires approved training, passing a written exam with a score not less than 80%, and a criminal record and vulnerable sector check. So once those requirements have been met, you’re ready to start taking cases?

No. In order to engage in the business of selling investigative services, all firms, including sole proprietors, must possess an agency license. This requires: insurance, a municipal business license, submitting advertising for approval by the Registrar, a list of equipment used, an approved complaints policy, and with the exception of sole proprietors, additional criminal record checks. Additionally, a licensed business must comply with detailed record keeping requirements about clients, investigations, employees, and any time force is used. Since private investigators don’t typically make arrests, the last part is aimed much more towards security services, but it is still required.

These requirements are not onerous. Nor are they a state secret. They are clearly listed on the website of the Security Programs Division of the Solicitor General of Alberta.. In fact, the back of an individual PI license in Alberta clearly reads: “License Only Valid When Employed By Licensed Business”.

If a PI can’t or won’t comply with basic legal requirements, do you really want to hire them?

You can verify a business here.