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HomeAdvisor's Screening Process

HomeAdvisor uses the following criteria to screen service professional businesses at the time they apply for membership in our network:
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Licensing

We make sure that our service professional businesses carry any applicable state-level trade licensing for the services for which we match them to consumers.

Sex Offender Search

We check the websites that consolidate state sex offender information in the state in which the owner/principal of the company is located to confirm that there is not a match based solely on the name of the owner/principal of the company.

Legal Search for Civil Judgements

We use third-party data sources to check the owner/principal of each business for bankruptcy filings, liens, 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 the service professional's application for membership in the HomeAdvisor network.

State Business Filings

For service professionals that are corporations or limited liability companies, we confirm that the business is registered in the state in which it is located.

Identity Verification (Social Security Number)

HomeAdvisor verifies the social security number of the business owner/principal to confirm their identity. (This applies primarily to small businesses.)

Criminal Records Search

We use third party data sources to conduct a criminal search, in the state in which the owner/principal of the company is located, for any relevant criminal activity associated with the owner/principal of the business, within the three years prior to such service professional's application for membership in the HomeAdvisor network. 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.

Corporate Accounts

Some Service Professionals are employees, franchisees, dealers, or independent contractors (“Corporate SP’s”) of larger national or corporate accounts (“Corporate Accounts”). In such event, you may be matched with the Corporate Account entity or with one of their Corporate SP’s. The above screening criteria is not applicable to Corporate Accounts, and therefore, HomeAdvisor does not screen the Corporate Accounts or Corporate SP’s.
Please see HomeAdvisor's Terms and Conditions for more detailed information on our pro requirements, screening processes, and disclaimers.

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.

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