Blog Post

Does A Free Contractor Background Check Exist? Here’s Why ‘Free’ Isn’t What It Sounds Like

Background Screening | March 31, 2022
Contractor Compliance Management

No one would pass up the opportunity to save money, but when it comes to background screening the contractors that your organization works with, a free contractor background check isn’t the best option.

Conducting background screenings on your contractor network can help you avoid entering into a contract with an individual who may not be fit to work for or represent your organization. These background checks can include:

Obtaining this kind of information is a worthwhile investment for any organization, and it not only helps to protect your customers and workplace, but it can also protect the reputation of your brand. Many websites advertise a “free contractor background check,” but these aren’t always reliable or consistent, and they shouldn’t be an option for a professional organization. 

Does A Free Contractor Background Check Exist?

The answer to this question is, kind of. However, the accuracy of the information that’s returned on these reports should always be questioned. An individual can access many local and national databases that will share information about another individual’s history, including sex offender registry information and court criminal records. 

All of this information is accessible because it’s considered public record. However, some local and state databases will require that you pay for your record search or sign up for a monthly subscription to be able to run these searches. Many arrest and conviction records are filed at the county level, and only in some instances are they collected into larger statewide databases. 

Many public databases are not considered up-to-date, complete or thorough, which may put you offside of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), if the information is used without being verified from the actual source that provided it.

Why A Free Contractor Background Check Isn’t The Best Option

When comparing free contractor background checks and paid contractor background screening services, there’s a clear difference and an obvious advantage to choosing paid screening services. Those advantages include the following. 

ReliabilityFree Contractor Background Check

For contractor compliance, you need to know that the background screening results that you receive are extremely accurate and up to date. Free online or DIY background check systems don’t have a team of experienced professionals working to provide your organization with results you can rely on. 

Comprehensive Results

The in-depth results that PlusOne Solutions provides to our customers include information gathered from the National Criminal Database, statewide repositories, and even individual county courthouses. This gives you the most comprehensive information available. 


All of our background screening solutions are compliant with the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and we’re accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association. This widely-recognized seal of approval brings national recognition to a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) for its commitment to accountability, excellence, high professional standards, and continual institutional improvement. The knowledge and skills needed to conduct thorough contractor background screenings would not be found in a free contractor background check.

Turnaround Time

If you are conducting your own background checks using online resources, the time that is needed to conduct a complete report would rely on your availability. This could delay contracting decisions and impact your organization’s internal timelines. Using a professional service provider ensures that you get the accurate results you need in a timely manner, and gives you access to their expertise. 

PlusOne Solutions: The Answer to Your Contractor Background Screening Needs

Your organization and customers deserve the best in contractor compliance. Since 2005, PlusOne Solutions has worked to meet the unique needs of the service industry and taken a fresh approach to compliance practices for contractor networks. Contact us today to discuss how our solutions can help you.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit

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