How much is a typical retainer?

While there is rarely a “typical case”, investigative agencies usually have a standard retainer. This may move up or down a little depending upon the type of case and the historical amount of time it takes to complete similar cases. You should expect your retainer to be a minimum of $1,000 and increase from there due to complexity or the number of requested investigative tasks. Average Private Investigative retainers are around $1,700 - $3,000. If you are looking for a high-profile criminal defense investigator, corporate espionage, or undercover operations, you should be expecting to pay a $5,000 - $10,000 retainer.

It is unlikely that your investigative agency will offer any financing solutions, yet there are a couple that do offer this for specific types of cases. Such ones usually are kidnapping, child endangerment, or complex scenarios that will require higher retainers. You may have to search around to find one that offers financing solutions or just ask.