Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

FAQ'sQ: Can anyone join a chapter?

BNI is exclusive: only one person per professional specialty is permitted to join a chapter. If your specific "seat" is no longer available, we can refer you to another chapter. 

Q: How do you know new members are reputable?

BNI membership application requires references and each chapter has a membership committee verifying references and performing background checks. Everyone visiting must have a sponsor. The membership committee also interviews this sponsor.

Q: What if a member receives a referral, but performs their work poorly? 

BNI chapters have an ethics committee. Any member unsatisfactorily handling referrals must be reported to the membership committee, for investigation.

Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?

BNI is relationship-building. Therefore, membership focus is on the individual, not the occupation. Have a dream? Are you focused? Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be successful? You will be very attractive to BNI chapters. 

Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?

Members are encouraged to bring visitors viable for the chapter. Visitors bring fresh, new energy; they expand the chapter's network. 

Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?

BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI, therefore, requires its members to uphold the standards of its trade so as not to violate the professional's ethical obligations. If BNI's general rules could potentially violate a professional's ethical code, the professional's code of ethics supersedes BNI's rules.  A primary objective of BNI is to educate members in ways that will market and grow a business. BNI intends to ensure this is permitted.

Q: In my profession, my area of specialty is more narrowed. Am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my trade?

BNI understands that many professions are broad and that people often specialize in their profession. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any professional to participate in an area in which the professional does not have expertise. On the contrary, BNI prohibits professionals from acting outside of the scope of their abilities.

Q: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?

BNI's primary objectives: assist members in ways to improve their business, and educate them to become more proficient at networking. Professionals earn business when their expertise is known, and when others reach a level of trust with them. BNI provides a valuable forum that can facilitate introductions, build credibility, and increase profitability. 

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