DBS checks for Self-Employed Individuals

11th Jun 2024

In this blog, we will explore the importance of DBS checks for self-employed individuals.

DBS checks for the self-employed

In the world of self-employment, trust is everything. Whether you're a freelancer, contractor, or small business owner, your reputation hinges on reliability and integrity. One way to enhance this trust is through DBS checks.


What is a DBS check?

A DBS check is a background check carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service. Therefore, this helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups. The check reveals whether an individual has any criminal convictions or cautions that might make them unsuitable for certain roles.


Why Self-Employed Individuals Might Need A DBS check?

 While DBS checks are typically associated with employers, there are several scenarios where self-employed individuals might need one:


  • Working with vulnerable groups

When your work involves regular contact with children or vulnerable adults, you often need to undergo a DBS check. This is especially common for roles like tutors, private healthcare providers, or childcare providers.

  • Client Requirement

Some clients might require a DBS check before hiring self-employed professionals, particularly in sensitive sectors like education, healthcare, or home services.

  • Building Trust

DBS checks can enhance your credibility and trustworthiness with potential clients, showing that you have been vetted and found suitable.


Types of DBS checks

There are three levels of DBS checks:

Basic DBS check:

This check shows any unspent convictions or conditional cautions. It can be requested by anyone for any purpose, including self-employed individuals.

Standard DBS check:

This includes details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings. Standard checks typically required for roles in security, financial services, and other regulated professions.

Enhanced DBS check:

The most comprehensive check, it includes all the information in a standard check plus any additional information held by local police that is considered relevant to the role. Enhanced checks are essential for individuals working with children or vulnerable adults.

How to obtain a DBS check as a Self-Employed Individual


  1. Identify the type of check needed

Determine whether you need a basic, standard, or enhanced DBS check based on the nature of your work and client requirements.


  1. Apply online

Head to and choose which type of DBS check you need.


  1. Provide Necessary Documentation

When applying for a DBS check, you need to provide a copy of your valid passport, driving licence (which shows your date of birth), as well as a utility bill, bank statement, mortgage or credit card statement issued within the last 3 months (that shows your home address), national insurance number, and address history for the past 5 years. We will accept scanned copies with an online application but if you are verifying documents, these must be completed to say the originals have been seen, they are the same as the ones scanned and any photo ID is a true likeness of the applicant.


  1. Pay the fee

Fees vary depending on the type of check. Our prices are as followed:

Standard – £18.00

Enhanced – £38.00

Admin Fee – £13.50 + VAT (if more than 3 we will reduce to £12.00 + VAT each)

Document Verification – £11 + VAT


  1. Wait for results

Once all the paperwork is completed and ready for posting to the DBS it can take up to 4 weeks for them to process. Sometimes they can come through within a week or can take longer to complete stage 4 as the police conduct additional checks which can be slow in some areas of the UK.

Benefits of having a DBS check


Enhanced Trust and Credibility: A DBS check can significantly boost your credibility with clients, showing that you are committed to maintaining high standards of safety and integrity.


Compliance with Regulations: Obtaining a DBS check ensures you are compliant with any legal or regulatory requirements relevant to your profession.


Competitive Advantage: Having a DBS check can set you apart from competitors who do not have one, particularly industries where trust and security are paramount.


Peace of Mind: Both you and your clients can have peace of mind knowing that you have been vetted and deemed suitable for your role.

For self-employed individuals, obtaining a DBS check can be a vital step in ensuring the safety and trust of those you work with. Whether required by law, requested by clients, or pursued to enhance your professional reputation, a DBS check offers peace of mind and credibility.

For more information please email Shelley at