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Independent Contractor Background Checks: A Complete Guide [2023]

independent contractor background check

The traditional employment landscape is evolving. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an exponential rise in demand for contractor services, such as food and package delivery. This need and desire to work with contractors will not be decreasing anytime soon.

While there are vast differences between traditional employees and independent contractors, they both can add value to your company in their own unique way.

But how do you ensure you hire the right independent contractor for the job?

As a leading background check company, iprospectcheck is familiar with the background check process for independent contractors.

This complete guide on background checks for independent contractors will cover how to run a complaint background check on an independent contractor and answer common questions regarding the contractor screening process.

Let’s get started.

Can I Run a Background Check on an Independent Contractor?

In the United States, the FCRA permits the use of background checks for employment purposes, including employment, promotion, or reassignment of an employee. While some states disagree as to whether or not this includes independent contractors, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), independent contractors are included in this category and should be protected under the FCRA guidelines.

So, yes, you can run an employment background check on an independent contractor. 

However, you’ll need to ensure you follow state and federal regulations when doing so. And since contract workers differ from traditional employees, consider developing a vendor background check policy that clearly states your intent to run a background check, the reason for doing so, and any other hiring procedures you intend to have the contractor undergo.

Why Should I Run Background Checks on an Independent Contractor?

There are many reasons to run a contract job background check, including the following.

1) It sets a common standard among workers.

By having your independent contractors undergo the same screening processes as your traditional employees, you will set a common standard among all workers. Not only will they have been screened the same, but they will be held to the same working standards.

2) It helps protect your company’s image and reputation.

While an independent contractor is not an employee of your company, they still represent your company through their work and interactions with others. By running a background check on an independent contractor, you can be confident you are hiring someone who will represent your company and brand well.

3) It helps keep employees safe and legal issues at bay.

Running a background check helps keep yourself, your company, and your other employees safe. By knowing a contractor’s history, you minimize your company’s risk of exposure to physical harm, financial damage, and negligence claims.

What Does an Independent Contractor Background Check Include?

Similar to traditional employee background checks, independent contractor background screening reports can check and verify different aspects of an individual’s history, including:

  • Identify verification
  • Education verification
  • Employment verification
  • Criminal history
  • National sex offender list
  • Global terrorist watch list

While this information can be hard to find on your own—as some might not even be accessible to the general public—iprospectcheck offers full-service employment screening solutions to help you get all the information you need.

How to Run a Background Check on an Independent Contractor

The easiest way to run an independent contractor background check is to partner with a third-party background screening company that knows the ins and outs of this non-traditional employment relationship. A reputable background check company such as iprospectcheck will do the hard work for you, taking care of all the details involved in running the background check and helping you stay compliant during the process.

Our recommendation is to follow all Municipal, State and Federal laws when background checking independent contractors. Treat them like employees. This is safer for you and creates a better working relationship with your contractors.

Can Independent Contractors Get Drug Tested?

Drug testing independent contractors is allowed if you have a clear policy in place stating your intent to drug test, when you will drug test, and your policy for using substances during work hours (i.e. that it is not allowed).

This policy should be seen and agreed upon by the contractor prior to any drug tests taking place.

How Much Does it Cost to Conduct an Independent Contractor Background Check?

The cost of background checks varies depending on how you choose to obtain the information. While there are states who give the public access to certain records, the fees for obtaining those records add up quickly. And while some companies advertise free services, be wary of those who are not comprehensive or compliant in their searches.

Background checking companies like iprospectcheck offer fast, cost-efficient services to meet all your background check needs.

iprospectcheck: Your Independent Contractor Background Check Screening Provider of Choice

Are you ready to run a background check for an independent contractor?

iprospectcheck provides exceptional customer service while helping you obtain the background reports you need. Running background checks on vendors can be tricky, but when you partner with us, we’ll simplify the process for you and help you stay compliant.

We know these are unique times as more and more companies turn to vendors and independent contractors for work. Request a free quote today to run your independent contractor background check with ease.

DISCLAIMER: The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Consult your counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

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About the Author
Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers

Matthew J. Rodgers is a highly accomplished business executive with over 30 years of experience providing strategic vision and leadership to companies ranging from the fortune 500 to iprospectcheck, a company which he co-founded over a decade ago. Matthew is a valued consultant who is dedicated to helping companies create and implement efficient, cost effective and compliant employment screening programs. Matt has been a member of the Professional Background Screeners Association since 2009 . When not focused on iprospectcheck, he can be found spending time with his family, fly fishing, or occasionally running the wild rivers of the American west. A lifetime member of American Whitewater, Matt is passionate about protecting and restoring America’s whitewater rivers.