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General Policies

  1. Only one person from each Professional Specialty is permitted to join a chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority relating to classification conflicts.
  2. Members must represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.
  3. The weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members need to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting.
  4. An individual may be a member of only one chapter of BNI at any given time.
  5. Attendance is critical to the group. If a member cannot attend, you may send a substitute (not a member of your chapter) to the meeting. This will not count as an absence. A member is allowed three absences every six months (April through September and October through March). More than this and the member’s classification is subject to being opened by the chapter’s Leadership Team or Membership Committee.
  6. Members are required to bring bona-fide referrals and/or visitors to their chapter of BNI. Chapters may establish a minimum number of referrals and/or visitors that is acceptable to maintain membership.
  7. Visitors may attend chapter meetings up to two times.
  8. Speakers must bring a door prize. Only members bringing a visitor or a referral are eligible for the door prize.
  9. There are no leaves of absence except for medical leaves. A member may take up to eight weeks medical leave with the Membership Committee’s prior approval if their fees are pre-paid for that period of time and they attempt to have someone “fill in” during their leave.
  10. It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of their chapter if a visitor “who submits an application in any way conflicts with their classification.” This should be done before the visitor is approved for membership. If there are no complaints, the Membership Committee will “assume their consent.”
  11. Members who wish to change their classification must submit a new membership application and get approval from the Membership Committee for that classification change.
  12. Transferring members must submit a new member application to the Membership Committee of the chapter they are transferring to for approval. If approved for transfer, all fees are transferable.
  13. In case of problems with a member, Membership Committee may, at their sole discretion, put a member on probation relating to the member’s business practices or commitment to the chapter.
  14. A member’s classification may be opened for failure to comply with the policies and/or the Code of Ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any chapter may open classifications. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfill that responsibility.
  15. Policies are subject to change. The Leadership Team will be notified regarding all changes.
  16. When the Leadership Team fulfills all responsibilities throughout their term, then they will receive compensation for their fees. The Leadership Team must agree to the terms outlined in the Leadership Team Agreement in order to hold a position and must go through training before participating.
  17. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad hoc Membership Committee until one is established.
  18. An individual member cannot be in a second BNI chapter nor in any other group that allows only one person per profession and whose primary purpose is to pass referrals to one another because it substantially reduces their commitment to the chapter members. Membership Committees have full authority in this area.
  19. All BNI membership lists are for the purpose of ’giving’ referrals and not for soliciting (via e-mail, direct mail, or other means) BNI members without their prior approval.
  20. All new members must attend Member Success Program (MSP) training in their region within the first 60 days of their participation. Only after attending the MSP training may the new member be added to the “speaker rotation” for the chapter. Any new members not attending the MSP training within the first 60 days after being inducted into the chapter, will be subject to having their classification opened by the Membership Committee.

Administrative Policies

  1. There is an initial registration fee. Fees are paid semi-annually or annually. Contact the local Secretary/Treasurer for amounts. Fees may also be paid with VISA, MASTERCARD, DISCOVER, OR AMERICAN EXPRESS.
  2. BNI may establish chapters in every city or community with people interested in developing a referral-based business. In addition, BNI reserves the right to open more than one chapter per community or city where the demands for BNI’s services are requested.
  3. Membership fees are payable 30 days prior to the due date. Members not paid by the first meeting of the month they are due, are considered late and will be assessed a late charge. If fees are not paid within 15 days, the member will be officially dropped by BNI.
  4. Fees are non-refundable. A certificate of credit will be given, upon request, to members in good standing for the unused portion of their time.
  5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees are from the same company.
  6. BNI has a strict policy on returned checks. A member has three working days in which to contact Headquarters and resolve the matter. Any returned checks not resolved within this period will be turned over to collections. All returned checks will be assessed a minimum $20 returned check fee. If a member passes a second NSF check, that member will be subject to immediate termination.
  7. BNI is a marketing service provided by BNI Enterprises, Inc. BNI or any of its franchisees reserves the right to discontinue a member’s participation in this program.
  8. A member requesting a transfer from their current chapter to a new chapter will be required to submit a completed new member application to the Membership Committee of the new chapter. In addition, if the member has less than 12 months of paid membership credit, they must submit a renewal payment. Or, if the member has more than 12 months of paid membership credit, no additional investment is required. Upon acceptance into the new chapter, the credit from their previous chapter will be added to their membership in the new chapter as well as the renewal time, if applicable.