To participate in Local Services Ads, all businesses must pass Google’s screening and verification process. The process varies by business category and location and may include background, business registration, insurance, and license checks, and minimum review requirements.
About background checks
In specific business categories and locations, Local Services Ads require background checks for the business, the business owner, and their field worker roster (employees, contractors, including subcontractors, or other workers who provide services in customers' homes, workplaces, or any other properties).
The background check for business owners and their field worker rosters involve identity and criminal history checks, like cross-checks against national sex offender, 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. The background check process doesn’t involve a credit check or a credit pull.
Businesses aren't charged for the background check.
Who performs the background checks
Local background check partners perform background checks. 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.
Businesses that have their own dedicated background check partner and process can apply for background check equivalency verification. Any businesses that are interested in this request should reach out to their Local Services onboarding point of contact. Google will review the request and decide if both the background check partner and the process meet the Google standard.
Background check partners may send Google anonymized or aggregated data for quality control purposes.
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 laws. 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 business entity background check on behalf of the business. If a representative owns and operates more than one business operating under the same business name, the representative is required to submit a business entity background check for each location along with their business owner background check per location. 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. The background check process doesn’t involve a credit check or a credit pull.
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 aren't eligible to participate in the Google program to which they applied. 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 30 days to reapply for admission to the Google program. If a second application is also denied, you must wait 180 days before reapplying in all further instances of reapplication.
About Google Business Profile requirements (Select countries only)
Based on industry and location, businesses must pass a series of business checks to run a Local Services ad. One important check in the verification process is making sure that Business Profiles on Google are properly connected to matching Local Services ads. When these are linked, managing your business on Google becomes easier and even more secure. Google matches your ad with your Business Profile to make sure authorized people can manage your ad, calls, messages and business details.
To pass this step, businesses that have a matched Google Business Profile must verify that they rightfully own or manage the profile. This also means claiming the profile if it is currently unmanaged on Google. If a Google Business Profile already exists for your business, you will see a profile preview on your dashboard. The person completing the business checks on Local Services Ads must also be a profile owner or manager, even if the profile is already claimed and verified by another authorized person connected to the business. When Local Services Ads detects that the signed-in user is not a profile owner or manager, there will be an option to request profile access on the dashboard. In the meantime, this person will not be blocked from completing other verification steps, but this step must be done before an ad can appear in search results.
More details about the verification process for Google Business Profiles can be found here.
Remember, you can view your profile to check the status of this step. It may take up to 24 hours for this step to be marked as done on the verification dashboard.
About business registration checks
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' registrations.
Business registration documentation options by country
|Country||Business Registration documentation options (in local language)||Language|
|Belgium||BTW-nummer or Ondernemingsnummer bij de Kruispuntbank van Ondernemingen||nl|
|Numéro de TVA or Numéro d'entreprise auprès de la Banque-Carrefour des Entreprises||fr|
|France||SIRENE / SIRET code||fr|
|Numéro de TVA||fr|
|Attestation de régularité fiscale (formulaire n°3666-SD)||fr|
|Germany||Bescheid über die Erteilung einer Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer||de|
|Ireland||VAT Tax ID||en|
|Business Registration with the Companies Registration Office (CRO)||en|
|Spain||CIF / NIF Intracomunitario||es|
|Número de IVA||es|
|Switzerland||Unternehmens-Identifikationsnummer (for example, CHE-123.456.789 MWST)||de|
|Numéro IDE (for example, CHE-123.456.789 TVA)||fr|
|Numero d’identificazione delle imprese (for example, CHE-123.456.789 IVA)||it|
|United Kingdom||VAT Tax ID||en|
|CRN from the Companies House Registry||en|
About insurance checks
For business categories that require insurance (whether general, professional, or malpractice), businesses are required to submit their certificate of insurance. The minimum insurance amount required depends on the category and location.
Uploading guidelines for insurance (North America):
- The document must be active and valid for at least 14 days after the time of submission.
- The name on the documentation must match the name you want to advertise with. If different, attach additional documentation such as a Doing Business As (DBA) document, proving the affiliation.
- The business address listed must cover the service area you want to advertise in.
- The insurance amount must be equal to or greater than the amount required, depending on your business category and location. The amount required will be displayed on the insurance upload screen on your business verification dashboard.
- In the United States and Canada, the best document to provide is a valid Certificate of Insurance that includes a signature. Be sure the name on your insurance matches the name you’ve used to sign up for Local Services Ads. If your insurance is under a different name, provide a Doing Business As (DBA) document.
- A policy number must be displayed.
- The document must be legitimate and non-editable.
Uploading guidelines for insurance (Europe):
About license checks
Depending on the country, Google verifies that businesses hold applicable state, provincial, and/or country-level licenses for businesses and owners or managers, to the extent possible. The licenses Google has verified for each business are displayed on their provider profile. Google validates these licenses against the state or country databases.
Businesses must also confirm that they hold applicable county, city, and province-level licenses, and that all service professionals are appropriately licensed. If a business is serving in multiple locations, they must provide business and employee level licenses for each location.
About the National Provider Identifier verification (US only)
For health care verticals in the US, the National Provider Identifier (NPI) verification is a prerequisite to serve ads in Local Services. NPIs are verified via an integration with the NPPES NPI Registry API. If no NPI or multiple NPIs are found, the provider must call Local Services Ads support to verify their NPI number. Note that businesses can have multiple NPIs but individuals can have only one.
About Advanced Verification
For some business categories, advertisers will be required to complete Advanced Verification 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.
Screening and verification requirements
Depending on your region and business type, Google requires certain documents and licenses to complete your screening and verification. When setting up your Local Services Ads account, review the requirements for your business. Learn more about business screening and verification requirements