So, you have the skills to become a skip tracer from home, but don’t have access to the resources to become a professional? Details on how to get that sort of access is hard to come by. Most companies that hire you will do so as an independent contractor, and will usually require you to have access to a paying skip tracing database.
Access to these databases is extremely limited because of the sensitive nature of the information. You will be skips required to jump through some hoops first in order to prove you are a legitimate business with a legal reason to have access to the database. Contrary to what some might tell you, you do not need to be a licensed Private Investigator to gain access to this information for work. This is where information gets sparse and the process can get time consuming. However, using this guide will cut out the fact finding part, and get you right to the meaty part of what has to be done. So, dig in!
There are many companies that you can use to access skip tracing databases. Major ones include Merlin, Accurint, and Lexis-Nexis. Each company will have different requirements, but in general you will need to have some basic things.
Getting one is not as hard as one might think. Although each city is different, it’s all pretty basic. The easiest way to locate what information your particular city requires for a business license, Google your city’s “business license division.” Contact that division to find out what steps you will need to take to proceed. This may include paying a small fee, visiting your zoning office (if working out of your home) and coming up with a name for your business.
Skip tracing database companies will require a copy of your letterhead and/or business cards. Once you register your business name, create some graphics on your computer (or have someone do it for you) then attach them to a document you send the company. You can create business cards using an online template or one on Microsoft Word.
Voicemail and/or Business Phone Line
You may have already planned for this, so if you have then it’s one less step you have to take. Every business person/independent contractor needs a phone line that is designated strictly for business calls. Even if it’s only a voicemail, it should have your voice on it in a professional manner. You don’t want your new employers or these database companies getting your home answering machine that has music blaring. You’ll need a professional sounding message for them to call and verify they are speaking to a business owner.
Locate and print the company’s application for an account. It will specify what forms of identification they need, as well as the different legally acceptable reasons you could have access to their sensitive information. Most will have a check list to help you keep everything organized. In addition, you’ll need to think about your payment method. Most companies have payment options, including package deals depending on your anticipated volume or per search charges. You might find it helpful to establish a separate bank account in your business name, but it’s not required.
That should do it! Once you get all of these things ready, submit them to the database company and wait for approval. Please understand that you should only do this if you have a LEGALLY acceptable reason for this (skip tracing as a job, or private investigating.) These databases are not available to the public and should never be used for personal reasons.