Guide On Background Check Companies for Small Businesses

by | Jul 11, 2024

For small businesses, background checks are a must-have process when it comes to hiring. These checks can help prevent fraud, comply with legal requirements, and create a safer work environment.

In this article, we will cover the top background check companies for small businesses, covering candidate history, employment verifications, and more.

We’ll also look at steps to implement the background check laws and checks in your hiring process. Let’s get started.

Why Background Checks Are Important for Small Businesses

Background checks may come off as additional costs for small businesses. Here are some reasons why it is worth it:

Maintaining a Safe Workplace

Ensuring the safety of employees and customers is a top priority for any business. Reliable background checks help identify individuals with a history of violent behavior or other red flags.

Screening potential hires creates a safer work environment. This reduces the risk of incidents that could harm employees and damage the company’s reputation.

Preventing Fraud and Theft

Hiring individuals with a history of fraud or theft is a risk for any small business. Background check providers can reveal past criminal activities related to financial misconduct, helping businesses avoid potential losses.

If you screen candidates for such histories, small businesses can protect their assets and maintain trust with their clients.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

Many industries require background checks to comply with state and federal laws. These regulations help ensure that businesses do not hire individuals who pose risks to workplace safety and security. 

Failure to conduct these checks can result in penalties or legal issues. When you adhere to these legal requirements, businesses can avoid penalties and potential legal issues.

Types of Background Check Services for Small Businesses

There are various methods for conducting background checks. Here are some common types and their coverage:

Candidate’s Criminal History

Criminal background checks are among the most common and crucial types of checks. They will be able to sift through any criminal record. This usually includes convictions, arrests, and prior incarcerations.

This check is crucial for identifying applicants with a history of violent or dangerous behavior and protecting other employees and customers from potential harm.

Employment Verification

Employment verification confirms a candidate’s past job titles, dates of employment, and reasons for leaving. Checks of this nature help small businesses by accurately knowing the candidate’s employment and education verification, as stated.

The service also checks any gaps in employment history that may need further explanation. This can include the verification of previous addresses and the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

Education Verification

Education verification confirms the degrees and certifications listed on a candidate’s resume. This is essential for positions requiring specific educational credentials.

Among the benefits include ensuring that the candidates possess the necessary qualifications. This can prevent credential fraud by verifying the authenticity of employment and education verifications of degrees from institutions.

Credit Checks

Credit checks are often used for positions that involve handling money or sensitive financial information. This service identifies potential financial risks and ensures the candidate is financially stable. It also provides insight into a candidate’s history with debt and financial management.

Identity Verification

Identity verification confirms the candidate is who they claim to be. This check is important for preventing identity fraud, ensuring accurate records for background checks, and verifying the candidate’s legal right to work.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is used to identify candidates who may be using illegal substances, which is particularly important for safety-sensitive positions. 

One of the key benefits of this service is ensuring a drug-free workplace, reducing the risk of accidents, injuries, and drug-related issues.

Top 5 Companies For Employment Screening Needs

Several companies specialize in providing background check services suited to the needs of small businesses. Here are some of the top providers:

1. Stellar Background Checks

Stellar Background checks

Stellar Background Checks offers a comprehensive range of services tailored for small businesses. The company provides a wide range of services that include criminal background checks and employment verification. They also have social media screening and international screening to make sure that you have a full picture of the individual or applicant screened.

They also have drug and health occupational screening alongside professional verification systems. This is to make sure you are equipped with all the necessary data needed.

Additionally, they have options for education verification, credit checks, and identity verification. Designed to be user-friendly and efficient, their services are a popular choice among small businesses.


  • Comprehensive checks not limited to criminal and employment verification
  • Includes social media and international screening in offered packages
  • User-friendly interface in availing and downloading service results
  • Quick turnaround times as early as 1-3 days
  • Award-winning customer service assures you of worry-free service
  • Known for being 15-30% more affordable compared to competitors

2. GoodHire



GoodHire is known for its easy-to-use platform and transparent pricing. It offers a variety of background check services, from criminal background checks to credit checks and drug testing.


  • Easy-to-use platform
  • Transparent pricing
  • Good customer support


  • Some advanced features are only available in higher-priced plans

3. HireRight



HireRight provides detailed background checks, including criminal, employment, education, and drug testing. They offer custom pricing based on the specific needs of the business.

HireRight is known for its detailed reports and global reach, making it suitable for small businesses with international hiring needs.


  • Detailed reports
  • Global reach
  • Excellent compliance support


  • Complex setup process
  • Higher cost for smaller businesses

4. Sterling



Sterling offers extensive background checks, including criminal records, identity verification, employment and education verification, and drug testing.

They provide flexible pricing options and are noted for their fast processing times and in-depth reports.


  • Fast processing times
  • In-depth reports
  • Strong focus on compliance


  • Can be expensive for small businesses
  • Some users report interface issues

5. AccurateNow



AccurateNow is known for providing affordable pricing plans tailored for small businesses. They offer criminal background checks, employment verification, education verification, and drug testing.

Their platform is user-friendly with fast turnaround times and great customer service, making them a preferred choice for many small businesses.


  • User-friendly platform
  • Fast turnaround
  • Great customer service


  • Limited advanced features compared to larger competitors

How to Choose the Right Background Check Company for Your Small Business

A lot of companies offer a variety of pros and cons. However, they may not be the best option for your small business background check. Here are some aspects to consider before selecting the best background checks and providers:

Consider The Costs

Ensure the pricing fits within your budget. Compare different plans and features offered by various companies. It’s important to find a balance between cost and the quality of service provided.

Some companies offer tiered pricing plans, allowing you to choose a plan that meets your needs without overpaying for unnecessary features.

Ask About Turnaround Time

Check how quickly the company can provide results. Faster turnaround times are critical for efficient hiring processes.

Delays in receiving background check results can slow down your hiring process and potentially result in losing out on top candidates. Look for companies that offer quick and reliable background check turnaround times.

Assess The Level Of Legal Compliance

Ensure the company complies with relevant laws and regulations, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Customer Support

Good customer support can help resolve issues quickly and ensure a smooth process. Look for companies that offer responsive and helpful customer service.


Look for a provider that tailors its services to meet your specific needs. Consider the flexibility of the reports and the level of detail provided.

Some companies offer customizable packages that allow you to select the types of checks you need.

Steps to Implement Background Checks in Your Hiring Process

Undergoing a background check as part of your employment screening services likewise requires steps. Here are some of the things you may want to take note of:

Develop a Background Check Policy

Establish clear guidelines on what checks will be conducted and how the information will be used. A well-defined policy ensures consistency and fairness in the hiring process.

Inform Candidates

Inform candidates about the background check process and obtain their consent. Ensure candidates sign consent forms before conducting any checks. This not only complies with legal requirements but also builds trust with potential new hires.

Conduct the Check

Coordinate with the add-ons chosen background check provider to conduct the checks. Collaborate closely with the provider to ensure all necessary checks are completed. Carefully review the results and verify any discrepancies.

Make Informed Hiring Decisions

Use the information obtained from the background checks to make informed hiring decisions. Analyze the search results in the context of the position’s role and responsibilities.

Ensure decisions are fair and non-discriminatory, complying with all legal requirements. This approach helps build a trustworthy and competent workforce.

notes and documents

Legal Considerations for Small Business Background Checks

Depending on local laws in your state, there may be a variety of hiring laws involved. Here are some of the common laws to consider:

Overview of FCRA

The FCRA governs how background checks are conducted and used. Businesses must comply with FCRA regulations to avoid legal repercussions.

This includes providing candidates with a copy of their rights and obtaining written consent before conducting a background screening or check.

EEOC Guidelines

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines help prevent discrimination in hiring practices. Employers must ensure that background check processes do not disproportionately exclude certain groups unless the exclusions are job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Ensuring Non-Discrimination

Make sure that background checks are conducted and used in a non-discriminatory manner. This means evaluating each candidate fairly based on their qualifications and job requirements.

Avoid blanket policies that exclude candidates for open positions based on certain types of criminal records without considering the nature of the offense and its relevance to the job.

Verify With Stellar Background Checks

Stellar Background Checks is an all-in-one service platform where you can verify criminal records, employment history, and more.

With affordable pricing and comprehensive data research, you can find all the essential information when hiring.

Contact us via email at or call us at 1-800-301-4140.

FAQs On Background Check Companies for Small Businesses

How long do background checks take?

Background check turnaround times can vary depending on the type of background check report and the provider. Generally, checks can take from a few hours to a few days. Choose a provider that can deliver timely results to keep your hiring process efficient.

How much do background checks cost?

The cost of background checks can vary widely based on the provider and the level of detail required. Prices can range from $30 to $100 per check, with discounts available for bulk purchases.

What if a candidate disputes the results?

For disputes on the results, contact the company to address any inaccuracies. It’s important to have a clear process in place for handling disputes on review results. This includes informing the candidate of their rights and providing them with a copy of the report.

Can small businesses conduct their background checks?

Small business owners can conduct their background checks. However, it is often more efficient and reliable to consult a professional. Using a professional service can save time and ensure accuracy.

How often should background checks be updated?

Background checks should be updated periodically, especially for roles that access sensitive information. It’s common practice to conduct checks every 2-5 years, depending on the nature of the job and industry regulations.

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