HomeAdvisor's Screening Process
HomeAdvisor uses the following criteria to screen service professionals at the time they apply for membership in our network:
Applicants must carry required state-level licensing to perform work in the trade and service area for which they apply.
Sex Offender Search
We check the official sex offender website in the state in which the owner/principal of the company is located to confirm that there is not a match with the applicant.
Legal Search for Civil Judgments
We use third-party data sources to check the principal/owner of each business for bankruptcy filings and significant state-level civil legal judgments, in the state in which the owner/principal of the company is located, occurring within 12 months prior to application for membership in the HomeAdvisor network.
Criminal Records Search
HomeAdvisor uses third-party sources to conduct a criminal search, in the state in which the owner/principal of the company is located as well as any state that owner/principal has address history, for relevant criminal activity associated with the business owner/principal within three years prior to application.
State Business Filings
We confirm that service professionals applying as corporations or limited liability companies are in good standing in the state in which they are located.
Identity Verification (Social Security Number)
HomeAdvisor verifies the social security numbers of business owners/principals to confirm their identities. (This applies primarily to small businesses.)
Tips for Homeowners
While HomeAdvisor works hard to ensure that you are connected to trusted service professionals, it's ultimately up to you to choose the right pro for your project. HomeAdvisor strongly recommends that you perform the following tasks when hiring any service professional to work on your home:
- Ask to see a copy of the professional's license to verify that it is current and in compliance with not only the state-level requirements, but also any local level requirements (township, city, county, etc.).
- Ask whether the professional is insured and bonded.
- Ask for additional customer references. You can also check ratings and reviews on HomeAdvisor to see what other homeowners have had to say about a pro's work.
- Make sure the professional will pull any permits required for your job.
- Be wary of bids that are substantially higher or lower than the competition.
- Put it in writing. Get a contract stating exactly what is included in the scope of work for your project.
- Never pay for an entire project upfront. Read more about arranging payments.
- Keep records of everything -- including proof of licensing, bonding and insurance, contracts, invoices, proof of payment, progress photos, and all project-related correspondence.
HomeAdvisor's third-party vendor uses a national criminal database ("NCD") to screen our service professionals. The comprehensiveness of the NCD varies by state. Please be aware that the reporting in the NCD is particularly limited in the following states: AL, CO, DE, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MI, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, SD, UT, VA, VT, and WY. For more information click on the "Instant Database Searches" tab on the following webpage: http://www.backgroundchecks.com/ourdata/coveragemap