How to Conduct a Criminal Background Check

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To conduct a criminal background check, get information from the person, get consent from the person to check their background, and send the information to the FBI or a third party. Prepare to pay a fee for a background check with information from a small business owner in this free video on background checks.

Part of the Video Series: Small Business Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Justyn, with Justyn Paul Management. I’m going to be talking to you about how to conduct a criminal background check. This is a very important tool. Especially if your industry that you're in requires that you have done some kind of criminal background or a due diligence, to make sure that your employees or contractors, that may be handling sensitive information such as social security numbers or credit card information. You need to be able to run a criminal background check, to make sure those employees do not have a criminal record. Especially if, for example, they are dealing with financial information and they don't have theft or fraud record. So, it's just an important tool to have in your tool belt. First thing you're going to do is, you're going to collect the information from the applicant. The information that you're going to need is first, middle, last name, date of birth, social security number. You may even need to collect information of the last few years of address's, aliases, and things like that. Next thing that you're going to do is you're going to get consent from them. This can be a very simple form that simply states that, we may be running your information for criminal background check. Do you consent to this? Then at least you have some way to show that they were aware of the fact that you were going to be running a criminal background check. Some states actually require, if you're going to be submitting forms to them, that a consent form has been signed. So, check with your state, to make sure that is the case. Next thing that you're going to do is, you can go, actually directly to the F.B.I., the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Just do a quick goggle search for FBI, background check. You'll see a form there. It costs, as of this video, $18.00 for an individual. And what they'll do is, they in fact often need fingerprints too. So, I don't think it's a requirement, but it may be, so you need to double check that. But what they'll do is they'll actually run a cross cert data base, to see if there are any information. If they cannot find anything, they'll just send a simple response back that says, no record. So, that's a good thing, it means the applicant hasn't had any crimes with their name or social is associated with. Another place that you can go, that I've used actually, is the mini states, actually have a data base of crimes and names associated with those crimes, that they make freely available. But if you really, really wanting to grill down and make sure you've got everything that you can possibly find and prove that you have done you're due diligence, you can hire a third party investigator. There are many wonderful online places you can go with services ranging from thirty to hundreds of dollars, for a background check. And those can be very thorough or they can be very basic. But that's the best way to go through the process. Again you've got to collect the information. Get their consent. You can go to the Federal level, which is the F.B.I., to get the background check. Go to the state level, to see if there are any records. You can always go to a third party as well.

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