Understand the screening and qualification process

To participate in some Google programs, a business must pass Google’s screening and qualification process for their business category. This screening process is free for businesses that want to participate. The process varies by category but may include background checks, insurance and licence checks.

To see if Local Services is available in your area, take a look at the sign-up page.

Check availability

About background checks

Note: Background checks are currently available in the US and Canada.

The background check involves identity and criminal history checks, such as cross-checks against national sex offender and terrorist or 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.

Businesses are not charged for the background check.

Who performs the background checks

Background checks are performed by local background check partners. Background check results remain strictly confidential between the business and background check partner. Businesses should contact the local background check partner with questions about the information checked, time period covered, appeals, and more.

Background check partners may send Google anonymised or aggregated data for quality control purposes.

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

How background checks are conducted

Before running any background checks, the background check partner will give each individual the opportunity to review the necessary disclosures under state, federal, county, country or provincial law(s). The background check partner will 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 the Google programme 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.

Who is checked

An authorised representative (business owner or manager) must complete the background check on behalf 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.

Furthermore, the following people will be checked:

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

What happens if you fail a background check

Businesses that fail the background check process are not eligible to participate in the Google programme to which they applied. Please note that the business or its workers can always contact background check partners to identify any errors, inaccuracies, or otherwise respond to background check results. After resolving any errors or inaccuracies and receiving a final decision of disqualification a business must wait an additional thirty (30) days to reapply for admission to the Google program. If a second application is also denied, you then must wait one (1) year before reapplying.

About business entity checks

Note: Business entity checks are currently available in Europe.

Depending on the country, Google verifies that businesses are registered according to relevant laws and regulations governing a given country. Businesses must provide Google proof of their business registration by uploading relevant documents, providing registration numbers, by attestation or other means. Google will make best efforts to verify the validity of each business' registration(s).

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 licence checks

Depending on the country, Google verifies to the extent possible that businesses hold applicable state-, provincial- and/or country-level licences for businesses and owners/managers. The licences that Google has verified for each business are displayed on their provider profile.

Advertisers must also confirm that they hold applicable county-, city- and state-level licences and that all service professionals are appropriately licensed.

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 Google Ads account (if applicable), publicly available data and video interviews conducted by Google. The check includes enquiries into business registration validity and evidence of fraudulent or misleading business practices.

Requirements by category for US businesses

Architect

Architects provide architectural design, architectural engineering, site planning, 3D rendering, site planning and home building, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Appliance repair

An appliance repair professional is a service provider who works on the maintenance, repair and installation of appliances, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Auto glass

An auto glass professional is a service provider who repairs cracked car windows, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Bankruptcy lawyer

Bankruptcy law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy, foreclosure, debt resettlement, personal, agricultural and corporate bankruptcy, and repossession, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each bankruptcy lawyer in the firm

Business lawyer

Business law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as business litigation, business transactions, business formation, commercial contracts, partnership agreements and shareholder disputes, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each business lawyer in the firm

Car repair

A car repair professional is a service provider who works on the maintenance and repair of car engines and auto bodies, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Carpenters

A carpenter is a service provider that works on cabinetry, decking, drywalling, shelving and remodelling, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Carpet & Upholstery cleaning

A carpet and upholstery cleaning professional is a service provider who specialises in the cleaning and maintenance of carpet, flooring and furniture upholstery, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Contract lawyer

Contract law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as contract disputes, contract negotiation, contract review, partnership agreements, non-disclosure agreements and commercial contracts, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each contract lawyer in the firm

Countertop services

A countertop professional is a service provider that works on kitchen and bathroom countertops, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Criminal lawyer

Criminal law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as domestic violence, drug possession, felonies, federal crimes, petty crimes and restraining orders, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each criminal lawyer in the firm

Disability lawyer

Disability law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as short and long-term disability, SSA applications, appeals and benefits, supplemental security income, veteran’s disability and worker’s comp, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each disability lawyer in the firm

DUI lawyer

DUI law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as driving under the influence (DUI) and reckless driving, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each DUI lawyer in the firm

Electrician

An electrician is a service professional who 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, electricians undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Estate lawyer

Estate law professionals assist clients in drafting and implementing legal documents, including wills, trusts, and deeds and provide advice and guidance for matters such as probate, guardianship and power of attorney.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each estate lawyer in the firm

Event planners

An event planner organises and coordinates events, such as weddings and parties, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Family lawyer

Family law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as adoption, child support, divorce, guardianship, prenups and marital agreements, spousal support and property division, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each family lawyer in the firm

Fencing services

A fencing professional is a service provider that works on fence design, installation, repair and maintenance, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Financial planners

A financial planner helps organise and optimise finances and plan for retirement and other financial goals.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Licence checks for each financial planner in the firm

Flooring services

A flooring professional is a service provider that works on floor installation, repair and sanding, and refinishing, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Foundations services

A foundations professional is a service provider that works on installing, raising, repairing, maintaining, and waterproofing basements, crawl spaces and other foundations, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Garage door

A garage door professional is a service provider who 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, garage door providers undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks, and Google’s Advanced Verification screening process.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

House cleaning

House cleaning professionals perform standard or deep cleans on offices or homes among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

HVAC

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, HVAC professionals undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Immigration law

Immigration law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as asylum, visa applications, green cards, citizenship, naturalisation, deportation and employment for non-citizens.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each immigration lawyer in the firm

Interior designer

Interior designers are professionals that offer interior home design, interior decorating, landscaping design, room planning, window design, door design and room planning among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

IP lawyer

IP law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as copyright, franchises, IP strategy, licensing, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and technology transfer, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each IP lawyer in the firm

Junk removal

Junk removal professionals remove and dispose of or donate appliances, waste, furniture or other items.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Employment lawyer

Employment law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as employment contracts, sexual harassment, unpaid overtime, whistleblowing and wrongful dismissal, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each employment lawyer in the firm

Landscaping services

A landscaping professional is a service provider that designs, installs and maintains gardens and landscapes, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Lawn care

Lawn care professionals maintain lawns, including installation and maintenance such as weed control, mowing and seeding, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Litigation lawyer

Litigation law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as case assessment, civil, commercial and criminal litigation, mediation and settlement, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each litigation lawyer in the firm

Locksmith

A locksmith is a service professional who 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, locksmiths undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks, and Google’s Advanced Verification screening process.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Malpractice lawyer

Malpractice law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as medical malpractice, diagnosis errors, treatment errors and medical negligence, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each malpractice lawyer in the firm

Moving

Moving professionals pack, move, store and unpack belongings, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Personal injury lawyer

Personal injury law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as assault and battery, auto, bicycle and motorcycle accidents, dog bites, injury from DUI, product liability and wrongful death, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each personal injury lawyer in the firm

Pest control

Pest control professionals inspect for and remove various types of pests, including bugs, rodents and wildlife, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Pet boarding

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

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

For this reason, pet boarders undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • N/A
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Pet grooming

Pet grooming professionals clean and groom pets, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Photographers

Photographers are professionals who 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, photographers undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • N/A
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Plumber

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, plumbing professionals undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional background checks.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Service professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Real estate agents

Estate agents help buy, sell, or rent property.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Licence checks for each estate agent in the firm

Property lawyer

Property law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as residential and commercial property, encroachment, foreclosure, neighbour and HOA disputes, property damage, purchase agreements, trespassing and title services, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each property lawyer in the firm

Roofing

Roofing professionals install, repair and maintain the shingles, gutters and venting on your roof, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Siding services

A siding professional is a service provider that installs, repairs, maintains, remodels and removes siding, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Tax specialist

Tax specialists are professionals that offer tax planning, tax preparation, tax filing and audit representation, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Licence checks for each tax specialist in the firm

Traffic lawyer

Traffic law professionals provide advice and guidance for matters such as parking tickets, reckless driving, speeding tickets, traffic tickets and suspended licence, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • Licence requirements:
    • State bar licence checks for each traffic lawyer in the firm

Tree service

Tree service professionals plant, remove and maintain trees, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Videographer

Videographers are professionals that offer video production and video editing, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Water damage services

Water damage professionals clean and inspect water damage issues such as mould, sewage and paint damage, among other services.

Professionals in some states may need additional licences to perform mould remediation or assessment services. Review each provider’s profile to learn more about the licences Google has verified.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*
    • IICRC certification**

**Professionals with this certification may need additional licences to repair water damage issues.

Window cleaning

Window cleaning professionals clean windows, mirrors, skylights and gutters, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

Window repair

Window repair professionals install and repair windows and may also service skylights, doors and other types of glass, among other services.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • Licence requirements:
    • Business licence at state level*
    • Owner licence at state level*

* = where applicable by state law. Google encourages you to review each provider’s profile to learn more about the licences that it has checked.

Note: If you are advertising through a partner affiliate, the above information does not apply to you. Learn more
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?