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 license checks.

To see if Local Services is available in your area, check out the signup page.

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About background checks

The background check involves identity and criminal history checks, like cross-checks against national sex offender and terrorist or sanctions registries in the US. At the company level, the process includes civil litigation history, like 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 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.

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 program 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 authorized 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 program 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 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 

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

Businesses must also confirm that they hold applicable county-, city-, and province-level licenses, 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 businesses

Appliance repair

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*
       

Auto glass

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Car repair

A car repair professional is a service provider that 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Carpet & Upholstery cleaning

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.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Electrician

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, 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Estate lawyer

Estate law professionals draft and implement 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
  • License requirements:
    • State bar license checks for each estate lawyer in the firm

Event planners

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Financial planners

A financial planner helps organize and optimize finances and plan for retirement and other financial goals.

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

Garage door

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, 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Immigration Law

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • Malpractice insurance where required by law
  • License requirements:
    • State bar license checks for each immigration 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Locksmith

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, 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Moving

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Pest control

Pest control professionals inspect 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Pet boarding

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, 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Photographers

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, 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Real estate agents

Real estate agents help buy, sell, or rent property.

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
    • Professional check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • License checks for each real estate agent 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Water damage services

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

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

  • Background check requirements:
    • Business check
    • Owner check
  • Insurance requirements:
    • General liability insurance
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*
    • IICRC certification**

**Professionals with this certification may need additional licenses 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

Window repair

Window repair professionals install and repair widows 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on state level*
    • Owner license on state level*

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

Requirements by category for Canada businesses

HVAC

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 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on a province and/or country level*
    • Owner license on a province and/or country level*

 

Locksmith

A locksmith is a service professional that 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 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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on a province and/or country level*
    • Owner license on a province and/or country 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. 

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
  • License requirements:
    • Business license on a province and/or country level*
    • Owner license on a province and/or country level*

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