About screening for Local Services ads

To advertise with Local Services, businesses must pass Google’s screening and qualification process for their business category. This screening process varies by category but may include license, insurance, and background checks. 

As explained in our advertising policies, all business owners using Local Services ads must complete a background check. In some categories, all workers of the business who perform your core services for customers (service professionals) must also complete a background check. All background checks are performed by local background check partners at no cost to you. 

Some business categories also require licenses and insurance. License requirements might vary by location. 

About background checks

Business background check

An authorized representative (business owner or manager) must complete the background check on behalf of the business. The business background check covers civil litigation history of the business. 

In applicable categories, the representative will provide Google’s background check partner a list of service professionals who must also complete the background check process.

Business owner background check 

All owners of the business must complete a criminal background check.  This background check involves identity  and criminal history checks. 

Service professional  background check

If your business signs up for Local Services ads in an applicable category, every employee, independent contractor, temporary worker, contingent worker, vendor, or other worker (service professionals) who will perform core services for the customer must complete a background check. Office managers, clerical workers, customer support representatives (or others that don’t service customers directly) don't need to complete background checks. This background check involves identity  and criminal history checks. 

Cost of background checks

There is no cost to you for the background checks.

Who performs the background checks

Background checks are performed by local background check partners. Background check results for Local Services providers remain strictly confidential between the professional and background check company. Background check partners may send Google anonymized or aggregated data for quality control purposes.

Google publishes general eligibility criteria for the Local Services ads program and your obligations during the background check process. For more information, please see our advertising policies.

If you have questions about the information checked, time period covered, appeals, and more, you can contact the local background check partner for your area

What does a background check cover?

The background check involves identity and criminal history checks (such as cross-checks against national sex offender and terrorist/sanctions registries in the US). At the company level, the process includes civil litigation history (such as  judgments and liens from federal and state courts in the US).

How are background checks conducted?

Before our background check partners run any background checks, they provide each individual with the opportunity to review the necessary disclosures under state, federal, and country law(s). Our background check partners also ensure that each individual agrees to the terms before conducting the checks. The disclosures and terms allow background check partners to conduct the checks for Local Services ads and any follow-up checks in the future. Our background check partners are trusted vendors who have undergone strict data security audits and take care to protect each individual’s privacy.

What happens if you fail a background check

Businesses that fail the background check process are not eligible to participate in Local Services ads. Please note that you and your workers can always contact background check partners to identify any errors, inaccuracies, or otherwise respond to background check results. After receiving a final decision of disqualification (e.g., after resolving any errors or inaccuracies you may have raised), you must wait an additional thirty (30) days to reapply for admission to Local Services ads by Google. If your reapplication is also denied, you then must wait one (1) year before reapplying to the platform.

Learn more about Local Services ads policies

About insurance checks 

For categories that require general liability insurance, businesses are required to submit their certificate of insurance. The minimum insurance amount required depends on the category and location. 

About license checks 

In the US, Google verifies that advertisers hold applicable state-level licenses for businesses and owners/managers. Advertisers must also confirm that they hold applicable county and city- level licenses, and that all service professionals are appropriately licensed. 

In other countries, Google verifies the most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on the city, state, province, county or country level. 

About advanced verification 

For some business categories, advertisers will be required to complete Advanced Verification in order to prevent fraudulent businesses from advertising on Google using false identities. The Advanced Verification process combines a review of your AdWords account (if applicable), publicly available data, and video interviews conducted by Google. The check includes inquiries into business registration validity, and evidence of fraudulent or misleading business practices.

Requirements by category for US advertisers

Categories (listed alphabetically) Background check requirements Insurance requirements License requirements Overview
Appliance repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An appliance repair professional is a service provider that works on the maintenance, repair, and installation of appliances, among other services.
Auto glass -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An auto glass professional is a service provider that repairs cracked car windows, among other services.
Car repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
A car repair professional is a service provider that works on the maintenance and repair of car engines and auto bodies, among other services. 
Carpet & Upholstery cleaning -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
A carpet and upholstery cleaning professional is a service provider that specializes in the cleaning and maintenance of carpet, flooring, and furniture upholstery, among other services.
Electrician -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

An electrician is a service professional that works on the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems, among other services.

Note: The electrician category is considered an urgent category because consumers will often call an electrician for time-sensitive, urgent need (exposed wiring, critical electronic failure, etc.). 

For this reason, the electricians listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.

Event planners -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An event planner organizes and coordinates events, such as weddings and parties, among other services
Garage door -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

A garage door professional is a service provider that works with overhead and garage door systems, among other services.

Note: The garage door category is considered an urgent / duress category because consumers will often call a garage door provider for time-sensitive, urgent need (garage door won’t open or close). 

For this reason, the garage door providers listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks, and Google’s Advanced Verification screening process.

House cleaning -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
House cleaning professionals perform standard or deep cleans on offices or homes among other services.
HVAC -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

An HVAC professional installs, maintains, and repairs furnaces and central air conditioning systems, among other services. 

Note: The HVAC category is considered an urgent category because consumers will often call an HVAC for time-sensitive, urgent need (heater is broken in freezing temperatures).

For this reason, the HVAC professionals listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.
 

Junk removal -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Junk removal professionals remove and dispose of or donate appliances, waste, furniture, or other items.
Lawn care -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Lawn care professionals maintain lawns including installation, and maintenance such as weed control, mowing, and seeding among other services. 
Locksmith -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

A locksmith is a service professional that works with locks, keys, and security systems among other services. 

Note: The locksmith category is considered an urgent / duress category because consumers will often call a locksmith for time-sensitive, urgent need (locked out of home, car, or office). 

For this reason, the locksmiths listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks, and Google’s Advanced Verification screening process

Moving -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Moving professionals pack, move, store, and unpack belongings among other services.
Pest control -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Pest control professionals inspect and remove various types of pests including bugs, rodents, and wildlife among other services.
Pet boarding -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
N/A -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

Pet boarding professionals care for pets overnight. Some may offer additional services, including grooming among other service. 

Note: The pet boarding category is considered a sensitive category because professionals may stay the night at a consumer’s home. 

For this reason, the pet boarders listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.

Pet grooming -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Pet grooming professionals clean and groom pets among other services. 
Photographers -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
 
N/A -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

Photographers are professionals that offer individual or event photography, among other services. 

Note: The photography  category is considered a sensitive category because professionals may work with children. 

For this reason, the photographers listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.

Plumber -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
 
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

Plumbers are service professionals who deal with pipes, drains, sewers and the appliances in your home that connect to these systems. Sometimes they may also service gas or other services. 

Note: The plumbing category is considered an urgent category because consumers will often call a plumber for time-sensitive, urgent need (such as hot water outage)

For this reason, the plumbing professionals listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.

Roofing -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Roofing professionals install, repair, and maintain the shingles, gutters, and venting on your roof, among other services.
Tree service -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Tree service professionals plant, remove, and maintain trees, among other services. 
Water damage restoration -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Water damage restoration professionals clean, repair, and inspect water damage issues such as mold, sewage, paint damage and pests, among other services.
Window cleaning -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Window cleaning professionals clean windows, mirrors, skylights, and gutters, among other services.
Window repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Window repair professionals install and repair widows and may also service skylights, doors, and other types of glass, among other services.

* = where applicable by state law

Requirements by category for UK and Canada advertisers:

Categories (lListed alphabetically) Background check requirements Insurance requirements License requirements
HVAC -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level
Locksmith -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level
Plumber -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level


 

 

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