BNI Policies

Effective/Last Updated: 7 April, 2020


BNI General Policies

  1. Only one person from each business specialty is permitted to join a chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority relating to business speciality 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 business specialty 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, 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 3 absences every six months. More than this and the member’s business specialty is subject to being opened by the chapter’s Leadership Team.
  6. Members are required to bring bona-fide referrals and/or visitors to their BNI chapter. 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 2 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 an attempt is made to have someone “fill in” during the medical leave.
  10. It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of the chapter if a visitor “who submits an application in any way conflicts with their business specialty. 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 business specialty must submit a new Membership Application and get approval from the Membership Committee for that business specialty 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 business specialty may be opened for failure to comply with the policies and/or code of ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any chapter may open business specialty. 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, then they will receive compensation for their fees. The Leadership Team must agree to the terms and conditions 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. BNI membership lists are for the purpose of “giving” referrals and not for soliciting (via email, direct mail, or other means) BNI members or Directors without their prior approval.
  17. All new members must attend Member Success Program (MSP) training in their region within the first 60 Days of their membership. Only after attending the MSP training may the new member be added to the ‘speaker rotation’ for the chapter. Any new members not attending MSP training within the first 60 days of being inducted into the chapter will be subject to having their business speciality opened by the Membership Committee.
  18. Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Executive Board of Advisors, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer of BNI in Upland, California. The current version of these policies can be found any time in the BNI member section of or can be requested by email from
  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.

BNI Administrative Policies

  1. There is an initial registration fee payable for all new members. Membership fees are payable in advance for 1 year or for 2 years. Contact the chapter Secretary/Treasurer or for details of current fees. All BNI fees may be paid with EFT, VISA and MASTERCARD.
  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 city or community where BNI’s services are requested.
  3. Membership fees are due and payable 30 days before the membership expiry date. Fees not paid by the due date are considered late and will be subject to a late charge. If fees are not paid within 15 days of expiry, the member will be officially dropped by BNI.
  4. Once a member is accepted to BNI all fees are non-refundable except as required by law, including the registration fees and membership fees. A Certificate of Credit will be given, upon request, to members in good standing for the unused portion of their membership time.
  5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless they are from the same company.
  6. BNI has a strict policy on returned cheques. A member has 3 working days in which to contact his or her regional BNI office and resolve the matter. Any returned cheques not resolved within this period will be turned over to collections. All returned cheques will be assessed a minimum $50 returned cheque fee. If a member passes a second returned cheque that member will be subject to immediate termination.
  7. BNI is a marketing service provided by The BNI Australia Trust. BNI, or any of its Franchisees, reserves the absolute right to discontinue a member’s participation in the organisation or chapter.
  8. A member requesting a transfer from their current chapter to a new chapter will be required to submit a completed new member Application Form 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. If the member has more than 12 months of paid membership credit no additional investment is required. Upon acceptance in to the new chapter, the credit from their previous chapter will be added to their membership in the new chapter as well as the renewal payment time, if applicable.
  9. Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Executive Board of Advisors, at the discretion of the Chief Executive Officer of BNI in Upland, California. The current version of these policies can be found any time in the BNI member section of or can be requested by e-mail from

BNI Progamme Guidelines

  1. A member’s membership expires at the end of the selected period. Following application for renewal, Membership Committee’s approval, and the member’s payment of the next period’s fees the membership will be extended.
  2. A company that has paid the membership fee for their representative has the first right to replace their Membership Committee approved representative. The “new” representative must also be approved by the Membership Committee. If the company does not exercise this right within 14 days the “current” member representative has the first option to become a member in their own right or as a representative of another company by submitting a new Application Form with payment, if applicable. We suggest that contractual arrangements regarding BNI membership be clarified between the representatives and their companies “before” submitting an Application Form.
  3. Fees paid or unused certificates of credit are only transferable from one person to another if they are from the the same company, and cannot be transferred between existing members (ie memberships cannot be merged). The replacement applicant must be approved by the Membership Committee.
  4. Each chapter is part of BNI’s operation and intellectual property.
  5. Members are not agents of BNI, but are permitted by BNI to be involved in a chapter and use the BNI system strictly under the terms of the policies and guidelines and only while a member.
  6. All members are expected to contribute to the Chapter’s management by serving at least one term on the Leadership Team.
  7. BNI is the only entity entitled to represent BNI in any relationship with the public via the media.
  8. Each member agrees not to take any action or make any claim against any member of the Leadership Team for any matter relating to BNI.
  9. Each member will indemnify BNI against any liability etc. for statements or actions the member may make or take that result in liability for BNI.
  10. Multi-level marketing members of BNI should represent their products and services and not the business opportunity element of their business.
  11. BNI Programme Guidelines are subject to change. The current version of these Guidelines can be found any time in the BNI member section of or can be requested by e-mail from