How Much Does a Background Check Cost

Background checks are crucial if you want to screen employees before you hire them. You can even continue running background checks as you promote them if you consent. For example, if someone is moving into a more financial role, you can consider their credit history before making a decision.

That said, background checks aren’t free and you do have to pay for them, especially if you want one that reveals important information about someone. What’s more, there is no universal price for background checks.

The good news is that you’re in the right place. If you’re wondering, “how much does a background check cost,” You’re in the right place.

What Is a Background Check?

To understand the cost of a background check you need to know what they are and how they work. At its most basic level, a background check is a process that verifies someone’s public records. They involve looking through someone’s criminal records, work history, education history, credit report, and much more.

In fact, some background checks are extensive and may have applicants tested for drug use and checked their social media accounts. Ultimately, background checks are there to verify someone’s records against your checklist for what makes a good employee.

How Much Does a Background Check Cost?

Background checks can be free or cost more than $500. Factors that influence the cost include the level of detail in the background check, the company you’re working with for background checks, and the type of background check. For example, a drug test costs additional money compared to a basic identity verification checklist.

Additionally, most large background check companies will offer discounts for multiple employees getting background checks, so you might work out a deal to have background checks cost only $100 instead of $200 if your business has a high turnover rate.

It’s also important to note that some aspects of a background check can be free or as little as $5-$50 if you use online resources like people search tools, Google, and social media. However, this can be a lot of large companies to handle.

How Much Does a Drug Test Cost?

Drug tests aren’t free because they’re not always part of a background check, so it’s an extra cost that you need to prepare for. You have to pay extra for drug panels, cups that people urinate in, blood tests, and the company that comes in and performs the tests (if you use one).


The cost for drug test panels will start at around $12 but some of the more advanced tests can cost more than $120.

Additionally, you may have to pay by the hour if you plan on having someone come in and run the tests for you. This is something you have to factor into your background check cost because the criminal records search and identity verification process can cost an additional $100 to $200 per employee.

How Much Does an Online Background Check Cost?

Most background checks are done with background check companies, which is what drives up the cost. That said, you can run a background check for free by using Google, social media, and some criminal records databases.

While these methods are effective, if you don’t mind spending a few bucks, we recommend using a reputable online background check tool like UnMask. UnMask can help you find anything that’s public record, including social media accounts, criminal records, sex offender status, and much more.


Plus, UnMask is connected to millions of public records databases across the United States, so you don’t have to jump around to databases in different states if you’re worried that someone may have committed a crime elsewhere.

Only Pay the Right Price for Background Checks

Background checks vary in cost depending on the service that you use. If you’re a larger corporation that needs to run hundreds of background checks every month accompanied by drug screenings, it might be worth it to use a more expensive background check company.

On the other hand, if you’re an individual or small to medium-sized business, we recommend using an online background check tool like UnMask. It’s a fraction of the price of background check companies and provides you with most of the same information.