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How Much Does a Private Investigator License Cost Online?

Licensing is yet to become mandatory for private investigators in the UK. However, being licensed can be a major boost to the career of a private investigator. With a license, it's much easier for your clients to have confidence in your work which can be a factor in getting them to hire you.

A license will also enable you to become a member of professional associations which can increase your network and bring more clients to your business. It can also increase your credibility in court. There is the issue of cost to consider since you must pay a certain cost for the license.

Additionally, if your private investigation agency is offering other services related to the security industry, you may need additional licenses as well and the licensing costs in such a case can be high.


Types Of Licenses And Their Costs

There is only one body that can issue licenses to private investigators in the UK and that is the Security Industry Authority or SIA. This is the body charged with issuing of licenses for anyone working in the security industry. SIA licenses cost a flat fee of £220 depending on the purpose of the license and they are valid for a period of three years. On the other hand, it's not unusual to find private investigative agencies that offer non-investigative security services.

These services may include:

  • Manned guarding e.g. guarding a property or individual
  • Manning of cash and valuables in transit
  • Close protection services
  • Door supervision
  • Public space surveillance
  • Key holding services
  • Vehicle immobilization, removal or restriction

Unless in specified circumstances, these roles are defined as licensable. This means that you will require a license in order to legally perform these duties. Each of these licenses will cost £220 and will be valid for a three-year period with the exception of the vehicle immobilisation license which is only valid for one year but costs are still the same.

Supervisors of individuals who perform licensable roles also require a license even if they perform non-front line duties.