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 licence, 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 licences and insurance. Licence requirements may vary by location.

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

Check availability

About background checks

Business background check

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

In applicable categories, the representative will provide Google’s background check partner with 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 who 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 service professional and background check company. 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

If you have questions about the information checked, time period covered, appeals, etc., 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, county, country or provincial 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 or 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 second application 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 licence checks 

Depending on the country, Google verifies that advertisers hold applicable state, provincial and/or country-level licences for businesses and owners/managers, to the extent practical. The licences Google has verified for each advertiser 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 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 Licence requirements Overview
Appliance repair Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
An appliance repair professional is a service provider who works on the maintenance, repair and installation of appliances, among other services.
Auto glass Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
An auto glass professional is a service provider who repairs cracked car windows, among other services.
Car repair Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
A car repair professional is a service provider who works on the maintenance and repair of car engines and car bodies, among other services. 
Carpet & Upholstery cleaning Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
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.
Electrician Business check
Owner check
Service professional check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

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 in case of 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.

Estate lawyer Business check
Owner check
-Professional check
Malpractice insurance where required by law State bar licence checks for each estate lawyer in the firm

Estate law professionals assists 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.

Event planners Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
An event planner organises and coordinates events, such as weddings and parties, among other services.
Financial planners

Business check
Owner check
-Professional check
 

General liability insurance Licence checks for each financial planner in the firm A financial planner helps you organise and optimise your finances and projects the results of your savings and investments so you can see how well prepared you are for retirement and other financial goals.
Garage door Business check
Owner check
Service professional check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

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 in case of time-sensitive, urgent need (e.g. 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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
House cleaning professionals perform standard or deep cleans of offices or homes, among other services.
HVAC Business check
Owner check
Service professional check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at 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 in case of time-sensitive, urgent need (e.g. 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.
 

Immigration Law Business check
Owner check
-Professional check
Malpractice insurance where required by law State bar licence checks for each immigration lawyer in the firm

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

Junk removal Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at 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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Lawn care professionals provide services to install and maintain lawns, such as weed control, mowing and seeding, among other services. 
Locksmith Business check
Owner check
Service professional check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

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 in case of time-sensitive, urgent need (e.g. 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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Moving professionals pack, move, store and unpack belongings, among other services.
Pest control Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Pest control professionals inspect premises for 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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

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

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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Pet grooming professionals clean and groom pets, among other services. 
Photographers Business check
Owner check
Service professional check
 
N/A Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

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, 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 licence at state level*
Owner licence at 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 in case of 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.

Real estate agents Business check
Owner check
-Professional check
 
General liability insurance License checks for each estate agent in the firm

Estate agents help buy, sell, or rent property.

Roofing Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Roofing professionals install, repair and maintain the tiles, shingles, gutters and venting on your roof, among other services.
Tree service Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Tree service professionals plant, remove and maintain trees, among other services. 
Water damage services Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance

Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*

-IICRC certification**

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

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

Window cleaning Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Window cleaning professionals clean windows, mirrors, skylights and gutters, among other services.
Window repair Business check
Owner check
General liability insurance Business licence at state level*
Owner licence at state level*
Window repair professionals install and repair windows and may also service skylights, doors and other types of glass, among other services.

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

Requirements by category for Canada advertisers:

Categories (listed alphabetically) Background check requirements Insurance requirements Licence requirements Overview
HVAC
  • Business check
  • Owner check
  • Service professional check
  • General liability insurance
  • Business licence (provincial and/or country level)*
  • Owner licence (provincial and/or country level)*
  • An HVAC professional installs, maintains and repairs furnaces and central air conditioning systems, among other services. 
The HVAC category is considered an urgent category because consumers will often call an HVAC in case of time-sensitive, urgent need (e.g. 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.


 

Locksmith
  • Business check
  • Owner check
  • Service professional check
  • General liability insurance
  • Business licence (provincial and/or country level)*
  • Owner licence (provincial and/or country level)*
  • A locksmith is a service professional who works with locks, keys and security systems, among other services. 
The locksmith category is considered an urgent/duress category because consumers will often call a locksmith in case of time-sensitive, urgent need (e.g. 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.
Plumber
  • Business check
  • Owner check
  • Service professional check
  • General liability insurance
  • Business licence (provincial and/or country level)*
  • Owner licence (provincial and/or country 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. 
The plumbing category is considered an urgent category because consumers will often call a plumber in case of 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.

* = where applicable by province and/or country law. Google encourages you to review each provider’s profile to learn more about the licences it has checked.

Note: If you are advertising through a partner affiliate, the above information does not apply to you. Learn more
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