Before you hire paving company, you should try to get estimates. If you see some prices that look extremely low, as in below market value, beware. It could be that the company will end up doing a sloppy job or cutting corners elsewhere in order to be able to do the job at that rate.
References are necessary, of course, but here's a twist. Ask the paving company to give you some examples of work they have done, and go see the work in person, and talk to the people involved. This could give you more insight on who to hire. You can check out residential paving services via various online resources.
Aside from the internet, you can check the phone book directory. Find out also if the company has been insured. At least you will be guaranteed that the company is legitimate. You can find photos of previous projects and you can make a judgment based on the photos.
You can also check the credentials of the contractor. After finding your contractor, you can visit the office and personally make your question. You can check on the technology and techniques used by the company. It is one of the important aspects of your search. It will also give you an idea of the type of equipment used by companies in the task of paving asphalt. In summary, do your homework, and you should be able to find a great paving company to do work for you. Good luck.