Before you go through the effort setting up your company’s Google My Business listing, you need to consider whether or not your business is actually allowed to have one on Maps.
Because Google does have some restrictions!
First and foremost: an authorized representative of the business must have face-to-face contact with nearby customers during the company’s advertised hours.
What does Google mean by “face-to-face” contact?
To fulfill Google’s guidelines for doing business with clients in-person, how you operate must fulfill one of the following conditions:
- Clients come and visit you (if you operate out of a storefront)
- You go to clients (if you operate with a service area)
- Your business combines both a storefront and customer visits
Remember that the point of a Maps listing is to advertise to local clients, not a nationwide audience.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Rule of Who Can Have a GMB Listing?
Online stores are therefore allowed so long as they deliver their products via their own employees and delivery vehicles. Those that solely rely on USPS, FedEx, and/or UPS are not.
There are a few exceptions to this golden rule, however:
- ATMs, video-rental kiosks, and express-mail drop boxes are allowed if you include contact information for customer support.
- Businesses that have seasonal openings are also accepted if they have a permanent sign displayed at their location year-round.
What Types of Businesses Can Never Have a Google Listing?
And there are a couple of business types that are outright ineligible:
- Sales and leasing offices are accepted, but individual rental and for-sale properties (vacation homes, empty apartments, model homes, et cetera) are not.
- A continuing service or class is not viable unless it takes place in a location that you own and you have the authority to represent it.
Remember the Differences Between Storefront and Service Area Companies
- You can only show your address if you have a permanent sign in front of your building and clients are allowed to visit said location.
- A service area must reflect locations that you are able to physically travel to to deliver goods and/or services, and must be limited to a set of nearby cities/towns/counties (i.e. your local range).
- You cannot list multiple states or the entire United States unless you or your employees deliver goods and/or services everywhere in company vehicles and not via USPS, UPS, FedEx, or another delivery service.
Having a business listing appear on Google Maps and Google Search is crucial for most types of local companies. Keep in mind that there are rules about who qualifies for a GMB account, and make sure you’re realistic about how far you can go to reach customers.