General Policies

1. Only one person from each professional classification within an industry is permitted to join a chapter of BNI®. Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority related 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 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 must enforce this policy.
5. Attendance is critical to the group. If a member cannot attend, they 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 within a rolling six-month period. More than this and the member’s classification is subject to being opened by the chapter’s 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 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. In case of problems with a member, Membership Committees may, at their sole discretion, put a member on probation relating to the member’s business practices or commitment to the chapter.
13. 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 fulfil that responsibility.
14. If the Leadership Team fulfils all responsibilities throughout their term, they will receive as consideration an exemption of dues during their tenure as a Leadership Team Member. 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.
15. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad hoc Membership Committee until one is established.
16. 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 or Director Consultants without their prior approval.
17. All new members must attend Member Success Program in their region within their first 60 days of their induction. Only after attending the Member Success Program may the new member be added to the speaker rotation for the chapter. Any new members not attending the Member Success Program within the first 60 days after being inducted into the chapter will be subject to having their classification opened by the Membership Committee.
18. Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Board of Advisors.
19. Other than normal BNI® printed materials, members may not use the BNI® Intellectual Property (e.g. logos, trademarks, names, slogans, copyrighted materials, etc.) to manufacture, distribute, sell, market, or promote any product or service, or otherwise use the BNI® Intellectual Property without obtaining the prior written consent of BNI® HQ or the appropriate National Office. Members must agree to abide by the BNI® Branding Standards for any permitted use.

Administrative Policies

1. There is an initial application fee. Fees are paid annually or biennially. Contact the local Secretary/Treasurer for amounts. Fees may be paid on invoice after approved application by EFT; or where advised via card facilities.
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 demand of BNI®’s services are requested.
3. Membership fees are payable 30 days prior to the due date. Members not paid by the first day 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 their Regional BNI® office 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 R350.00 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 Global, LLC. BNI® or any of its franchisees reserve 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.