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Is it legal to hire a private investigator in Belgium? The profession of private detective is a legally recognized and protected profession. Anyone who carries out legally regulated investigative activities, who usually does so, whether or not in a subordinate context, in return for payment and on behalf of a client, is a private detective from a legal point of view.

One cannot simply use the protected title of private detective. The profession of private investigator is regulated in Belgium. Ask for the identification card of the private investigator during the introductory meeting. Every identification card mentions a validity date and a unique identification number. A private investigator completes a specific training at a certified academy and learns continuously through substantial investment in life-long learning and retraining. Each private investigator has been screened by various government departments before receiving a licence.

Certain professionals are not regarded as private detectives, even if they carry out investigation services on a regular basis and in return for payment. For example: the profession of bailiff, lawyer, notary, journalist, genealogist, social assistant and expert whose access to the profession is regulated by law.

(Source: the law of 19 July 1991 organising the profession of private detective {B.S., 02.10.1991}, amended by the law of 30 December 1996).