How providers qualify for Local Services ads

To help you feel confident when booking a provider through Local Services, Google requires all businesses advertising on our platform to undergo various levels of screening procedures. The screening process varies by type of service, the country you’re in, and whether the service provider advertises directly with Google or is part of a network of providers from one of our partner affiliates. These screening processes may include background checks, verification of insurance or licenses to the extent permitted by applicable laws.

How Google screens Local Services businesses that advertise directly on our platform 

Local Services businesses that advertise directly with Google undergo the following screening procedures. You’ll be able to recognize these providers because their profiles will have a note that says they have passed Google’s screening and qualification process for the particular category in which they’re advertising. This process varies by category but may include license, insurance, and background checks. 

Background checks

Business owners–and in some cases, service professionals–at Local Services businesses that advertise directly with Google, may undergo background checks by third-party risk management companies with which Google has partnered.

Depending on the type of service and country in which the service is located, the business may undergo the following types of background checks:

  • Business entity background check -- a civil litigation history check of the business for evidence of negligent or substandard performance of services, such as judgments and liens from federal and state courts in the US.
  • Business owner background check -- a background check for all owners of the business. This may include identity and criminal history checks, such as cross-checks against national sex offender, terrorist, and sanctions registries in the US.
  • Service professional  background check -- in an applicable categories, every employee, independent contractor, temporary worker, contingent worker, vendor, or other worker who will perform core services for the customer (service professionals) must complete a background check. Office managers, clerical workers, customer support representatives (or others that don’t visit customers) don't need to complete background checks. This may include identity and criminal history checks, such as cross-checks against national sex offender, terrorist, and sanctions registries in the US.

You can read more about the requirements in our policy for Local Service ads.

License checks

In the US, Google verifies that advertisers hold applicable state-level licenses. Advertisers must also confirm that they hold applicable county- and city-level licenses, and that all workers are appropriately licensed. Note that in some cases where a business is on the border of two states, the provider may not be authorized to work in both states. 

 In the UK and Canada, applicable city, province, county, or country-level licenses may be required. 

Google encourages you to review each provider’s profile to learn more about the business-level licenses it has reviewed.

Insurance checks

Whenever applicable, each provider's business must carry general liablility insurance coverage for work performed. 

Advanced verification

Advertisers in some business categories may need to undergo Google’s advanced verification screening. Advanced verification screening may include a review of the company’s Google Ads account, publicly available data and video interviews conducted by Google. The check may also include inquiries into business registration validity, and evidence of fraudulent or misleading behavior.

Other screening

Google also continues to collect ratings and reviews from people who hired Local Services providers. As described in our policy, serious or repeatedly negative customer feedback may result in lower rankings (including not showing at all).

Requirements by category for US advertisers:

Categories (listed alphabetically) Background check requirements Insurance requirements License requirements Overview
Appliance repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An appliance repair professional is a service provider that works on the maintenance, repair, and installation of appliances, among other services.
Auto glass -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An auto glass professional is a service provider that repairs cracked car windows, among other services.
Car repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
A car repair professional is a service provider that works on the maintenance and repair of car engines and auto bodies, among other services. 
Carpet & Upholstery cleaning -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
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.
Electrician -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

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, the electricians listed in the Local Services Ad Unit undergo an additional level of screening, including service professional  background checks.

Event planners -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
An event planner organizes and coordinates events, such as weddings and parties, among other services
Garage door -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

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, 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 license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
House cleaning professionals perform standard or deep cleans on offices or homes among other services.
HVAC -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on 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 for time-sensitive, urgent need (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.
 

Junk removal -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on 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 license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Lawn care professionals maintain lawns including installation, and maintenance such as weed control, mowing, and seeding among other services. 
Locksmith -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

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, 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 license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Moving professionals pack, move, store, and unpack belongings among other services.
Pest control -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Pest control professionals inspect 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 license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*

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

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, 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 license on state level*
-Owner license on 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 for 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.

Roofing -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Roofing professionals install, repair, and maintain the shingles, gutters, and venting on your roof, among other services.
Tree service -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Tree service professionals plant, remove, and maintain trees, among other services. 
Water damage restoration -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Water damage restoration professionals clean, repair, and inspect water damage issues such as mold, sewage, paint damage and pests, among other services.
Window cleaning -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Window cleaning professionals clean windows, mirrors, skylights, and gutters, among other services.
Window repair -Business check
-Owner check
-General liability insurance -Business license on state level*
-Owner license on state level*
Window repair professionals install and repair widows and may also service skylights, doors, and other types of glass, among other services.

* = where applicable by state law

Requirements by category for UK and Canada advertisers:

Categories (lListed alphabetically) Background check requirements Insurance requirements License requirements
HVAC -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level
Locksmith -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level
Plumber -Business check
-Owner check
-Service professional check
-General liability insurance - Most pertinent business, owner and service professional  licenses on city, state, province, county, or country level

How providers from partner affiliate networks are screened

Some Local Services businesses don’t advertise directly with Google, but instead are shown to you as members of one of our partner affiliate networks (like HomeAdvisor). These types of affiliate businesses aren’t screened through Google’s processes, but instead are screened by whatever procedures are followed by the relevant affiliate partners. You’ll be able to recognize these providers because they will have the partner’s logo on their profile page along with a note indicating that they are affiliated with that partner. We encourage you to review each partner’s screening procedures through the links provided below.

Service providers from HomeAdvisor

Providers that come from HomeAdvisor have gone through HomeAdvisor’s screening process. Learn more on the HomeAdvisor website.

Service providers from Angie’s List

Providers that come from Angie’s List have gone through the Angie’s List screening process. Learn more on the Angie’s List website.

Service providers from Porch

Providers that come from Porch have had their business owners background checked by Porch. Learn more on the Porch website.

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