Understand the screening and verification process

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

Note: Background checks are required in the U.S and Canada (varies by business category and location). Learn more about Business screening and verification requirements for providers

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 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
Austria Umsatzsteuer-ID-Nr. de
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
Extrait Kbis fr
Germany Bescheid über die Erteilung einer Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer de
Handelsregister-Nr. de
Gewerbeanmeldung-Nr. de
Ireland VAT Tax ID en
Business Registration with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) en
Utility Bill en
Italy Visura Camerale it
Partita IVA it
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
Utility Bill 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):

Provide your public or general liability insurance document stating the coverage amount, company or owner name, and address. Note that employer liability insurance isn't accepted. If your insurance is ongoing and doesn't expire, you'll be required to supply proof of payment for the last year to confirm the insurance is still valid.

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

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