Private Investigation

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Licensing, licenses and regulates the private investigative industry in accordance with Chapter 493, Florida Statutes. Private investigators and private investigative agencies serve in positions of trust. Untrained and unlicensed persons or businesses, or persons not of good moral character, are a threat to the public safety and welfare. The private investigative industry is regulated to ensure the interests of the public are adequately served and protected. This information has been made available to inform Florida citizens about licensing requirements.

A private investigator is any individual or agency who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performs the following activities. Individuals or agencies providing or advertising as providing these services for consideration must be licensed.

  • Subcontracting with the government to determine crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States
  • Determining the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any society, person, or group of persons
  • The credibility of witnesses or other persons
  • The whereabouts of missing persons, owners of abandoned or escheated property, or heirs to estates
  • The location or recovery of lost or stolen property
  • The causes or origin of fires, libels, slanders, losses, accidents, damage, or injuries to real or personal property
  • Securing evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or trial of civil or criminal cases