Whether you’re an individual or a business executive, are you are faced with a problem that requires the help of a professional? The private investigator is the preferred person to contact since he is the only professional legally authorized to collect information or intelligence intended for third parties in view of defending their interests. Art. L621-1 of the Internal Security Code.

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A professional in search of evidence, he will employ all the legal means necessary to bring you the essential elements and will provide an investigation report admissible in a court of law.

What are a private investigator’s fees?

Questions of cost are often among the first to be asked when calling upon the services of a private investigator.

The activity of private detective is a liberal profession so each agency is free to fix its rates. They are often calculated on the basis of the time spent and depend on the nature of the investigation and the human and logistical resources to be deployed. The assignments can be invoiced according to an hourly rate, often on a sliding scale, or based on a fixed price, the most relevant formula being the one negotiated with the client according to the specificities of each case.

“Administrative” investigations (research of persons or debtors for example) generally incur a fixed price and are invoiced only in the event of a positive result. If the private investigator’s investigation does not yield the information you are looking for, you will not have to pay anything. This is our guarantee of trust, seriousness and reliability for our clients’ investigations.

The choice of the most suitable formula will be made by mutual agreement with the client, depending on the duration (estimated or known) of the assignment, and its objective. In any case, our agency’s rates are degressive.

Be very careful before hiring a detective! There are a significant number of private investigators who do this activity while working at another job, which is not a guarantee of competence or experience. So, beware of particularly low rates. A private detective agency must have a license to operate issued by the Conseil National des Activités Privées de Sécurité (CNAPS), and it is a company like any other and therefore subject to business taxes. A rate well below the average can hide an unscrupulous agency, or even one that is simply banned from practicing. The investigation reports you’ll receive will therefore have no legal value.

We advise you to always choose a professional with whom you have had a direct conversation, either by telephone or face-to-face, and with whom a relationship of trust has been established. These are the criteria that motivate our clients and lawyers to work with us, and to become our advocates.

Important :

It should be noted that within the framework of a legal procedure, it is possible to obtain from the opposing party the partial or total reimbursement of the expenses incurred for the private detective’s fees.

When can you obtain reimbursement of expenses related to the services of a private investigator in civil matters? 

Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure stipulates that the judge shall order the party liable for legal costs, or the losing party, to pay to the other party such sum as the judge may determine according to costs incurred that are not included in the legal fees.


For example, in the context of unfair competition practices, the Paris Court of Appeal, in a decision dated 12/22/2000, considered that it was appropriate to take into account the investigation costs imposed on the claimant to ensure his defense. 

It went even further by increasing the costs awarded by the first judge under Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure in order to compensate the costs of judicial officers and private investigations (thus the costs related to the private detective).


You should not hesitate to ask for the total or partial reimbursement of the investigation costs of a detective whose intervention is justified in a civil or commercial judicial procedure.

Our agency’s fees fall into this category.

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