Effective/Last Updated: 25 August, 2021
BNI General Policies
Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority related to BNI® Policies. Membership Committees may put
a BNI® Member on probation or open a Member’s classification for failure to comply with the Member Policies, the Code
of Ethics or BNI® Core Values.
- Only one person from each BNI® classification can join a chapter of BNI®. Each Member can only hold one BNI® classification in a BNI® Chapter.
- BNI® Members must represent their primary professional focus.
- BNI® Members must arrive on time and stay for the entire published meeting time.
- An individual can only be a Member of one BNI® Chapter. A Member cannot be in any other program that holds Members accountable to pass referrals.
- A BNI® Member is allowed three absences within a continuous six-month period. If a Member cannot attend, they may send a substitute; this will not count as an absence.
- Members are expected to be engaged in the BNI® Chapter by bringing qualified referrals and/or visitors.
- Visitors may attend BNI® Chapter meetings up to two times.
- Only BNI® Members who have completed the Member Success Program, and BNI® Directors/Director Consultants can do Feature Presentations during the BNI® Meetings.
- Leaves of absence are possible for certain extenuating circumstances (e.g., extended medical issue that prevents member from working) at the discretion of the Membership Committee.
- Members who wish to change their BNI® classification must submit a new membership application for approval.
- All BNI® membership lists are for the purpose of giving referrals only. Before sending any marketing or business solicitation communications to BNI® Members outside your chapter or Director/Director Consultants, the recipient must give their consent. Consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.
Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the International Board of Advisors.
BNI® Core Values
- Givers Gain®
Be willing to give first, before you expect to gain. Like the farmer who must plant seeds before crops will grow,
you must invest first. This is often difficult to follow if you grow up in a transactional culture; however, giving
unconditionally yields the largest bounty.
- Building Relationships
No one is successful by themselves. Becoming good at developing relationships, creating a network of support
and always growing your network is the key to success in business and in life.
- Lifelong Learning
Your value grows as you develop your knowledge and skills. Our world is in a constant state of change. Unless
you are learning, you are falling behind. Create a curriculum based on the person you want to become and
follow that curriculum to get yourself there.
- Traditions + Innovation
Traditions are your foundation while innovations are your opportunities. Always keep your feet firmly planted
with your traditions while you reach to the sky to create innovation. This keeps you from losing your place in the
world while you continue to strive to create a better life for others and yourself.
- Positive Attitude
A habit of finding the good in everything that happens to you propels your life beyond setbacks. Those who see
the best in situations, others and themselves magnetically attract people, opportunities and wealth.
The only way to build trust is to make promises and keep them. Rather than expect others to believe and accept
your word, demonstrate who you are by accepting leadership roles, following through on your promises and be
the one that follows through, even when it appears no one is looking.
Tell the people around you that you appreciate what they’ve accomplished for themselves, you and the
organisation. Recognition is the fuel that builds organisations and societies. The person who masters the art of
recognition attracts a strong network.
BNI® Administrative Policies
- There is an initial training and onboarding fee (formerly application fee). Membership or participation fees are paid annually or biennially. Contact the local Secretary/Treasurer for amounts and payment instructions.
- 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.
- 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®.
- 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.
- Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees are from the same company.
- BNI® has a strict policy on returned cheques. A Member has three working days in which to contact their 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 $25 returned cheques fee. If a Member passes a second non-sufficient funds cheques, that Member will be subject to immediate termination.
- BNI® is a marketing service provided by BNI® Global, LLC. BNI® or any of its Franchisees/Sub Franchisees reserve the right to discontinue a Member’s participation in this program.
- 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.
BNI® Program Guidelines
- Membership Committees may put a Member on probation or open a Member’s professional classification and terminate the Member’s membership for failure to comply with the Member Policies, the Code of Ethics or BNI Core Values.
- BNI is a private marketing service business provided by the Sub-Franchisees of The BNI Australia Trust. BNI, or any of its Sub-Franchisees, reserve the absolute right to terminate a member’s membership and discontinue a member’s participation in the organisation and/or chapter for any reason and at their sole and absolute discretion. If a member’s membership is terminated, the member’s membership will end and no refund or compensation will be given.
- A member’s membership expires at the end of the membership term. A member may apply to renew their membership. Following an application for renewal, Membership Committee’s approval of the renewal, and the member’s payment of the next membership period’s fees, the membership will be renewed for a further membership term. The renewal of the member’s membership is at the sole and absolute discretion of the Membership Committee, the Sub-Franchisee or BNI® Australia. If the member’s membership is not renewed, the member’s membership will end and the member is not entitled to any compensation whatsoever.
- A business that has paid the membership fee for their representative has the first right to replace their representative. The proposed “new” representative must be approved by the Membership Committee. If the business does not exercise this right within 14 days of the cessation of the “current” representative’s participation in BNI® on behalf of the business, the “current” member representative may become a member in their own right or as a representative of a new business by submitting a new Application Form with payment, if applicable. We suggest that arrangements regarding BNI® membership be clarified between the representatives and their businesses “before” submitting an Application Form.
- Fees paid or unused certificates of credit are only transferable from one person to another if they are from the same business, and cannot be transferred between existing members (ie memberships cannot be merged). The replacement applicant must be approved by the Membership Committee.
- Each chapter is part of BNl’s operations and intellectual property. All property of a chapter is the property of BNI®. A chapter is not a legal entity. The members of a chapter must not register a business name, register an Australian Business Number (ABN), register a domain name, enter into a contract or do anything else in the name of or for and on behalf of a chapter. A chapter may open a bank account with the express consent of the appropriate BNI® Sub-Franchisee entity.
- Members are not agents of BNI®, but are permitted by BNI® to be a member of and involved in a chapter and use the BNI® system strictly under the terms of the policies and guidelines and only while a member.
- All members are expected to contribute to the Chapter’s management by serving at least one term on the Leadership Team.
- BNI® is the only entity entitled to represent BNI® in any relationship with the public via the media.
- Each member agrees not to take any action or make any claim against any member of the Chapter or the Leadership Team for any matter relating to BNI®’s business. If a member does so, they must indemnify the member or the member of the Leadership Team for any and all losses suffered as a consequence (including but not limited to legal costs) and their membership of BNI® may be immediately terminated.
- Each member will indemnify BNI® against any liability for statements or actions the member may make or take that result in liability for BNI®.
- Multi-level marketing members of BNI® should represent their products and services and not the business opportunity element of their business.
- BNI® Program Guidelines are subject to change. The current version of these Guidelines can be found any time in the BNI® member section of www.bni.com.au or can be requested by e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org