Local detective agencies, sometimes called private investigation companies, can offer a wide variety of services. Depending on the needs of the client, certain detective agencies may be a better choice over others. Many local detective agencies will specialize in a specific form of investigations. For example, one detective agency may only perform matrimonial (cheating spouses) investigations while another may only offer financial investigations. These types of local detective agencies are often operated by a small team of investigators with specialized experience in the field which they are investigating. Other larger agencies may have the man power necessary to offer a wide range of investigative services. When shopping around for a local detective agency the client should be permitted to ask certain questions to decide if the particular agency is the best fit for their own personal needs. Asking to see a copy of the agencys license to practice is important. In many states, if a person hires an unlicensed private detective, the client may find themselves in a fair amount of legal trouble. Keep in mind that some states do not even require local detective agencies to be licensed. Another good question to ask your local detective agency is if they are insured and/or bonded. States will also vary on this requirement, but a private investigator who is insured and/or bonded in a state which doesn't require it shows a level of professionalism above those who are not. As always, asking the local detective agency for a list of references should always be done. Because of the confidential and sensitive nature of the work, many past clients may not want to be contacted as references, but any good private investigator should be able to produce at least a few names of past clients who wouldnt mind if you contact them for their opinions of the private detective. Professional references are also good because they can legitimize the investigators status and speak as to his or her experience and/or training.