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Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Learn why you should consider running a background check on your freelancer and about related compliance issues.

Background checks can help to mitigate risks when hiring — whether your company is hiring an employee, contractor, or freelancer.

Why Complete a Background Check

The reasons for completing a background check of any freelancers that you hire are the same as those for screening potential employees. Any time there is a potential for liability for your company, such as the sharing of confidential company information, it’s wise to complete a background check before engaging with a new freelancer.

For some industries and work, background checks may be required by state and federal laws.

Get Permission

Keep in mind that the laws that apply to the screening of your W-2 employees also apply to freelancers and other 1099 workers. All background check processes must comply with Equal Employment Opportunity laws (EEO) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Make sure that you secure the freelancer’s permission before initiating a background check. Ask the freelancer to sign a permission and disclosure form for the background screening. Within the form, explain what information you will collect and how.

If you do not hire a freelancer due to the background screening, proper notification must be provided, as specified by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If a freelancer chooses not to consent to a background screening, you can choose not to hire the freelancer.

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