Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can anyone be a member of a chapter?

A: We only take one person per profession in each chapter. So if your profession is already taken in the chapter you visit we can help you find a chapter with an opening or help you start your very own BNI Chapter in your city. If you're not sure if your profession is already taken, reach out to the Vice President or President of the chapter to check.

Q2: How do you know new members are reputable?

A: When someone submits an application to become a member of a chapter, the application asks for references and an interview is conducted. Each chapter has a Membership Committee made up of members that are trained to ensire new members are a good fit for the chapter.

Q3: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?

A: We have a Code of Ethics and it's the Membership Committee's job to make sure it's respected. It is imperative that anyone who gives a referral and finds out it was not satisfactorily handled must report that to the Membership Committee, who will investigate in a professional manner.

Q4: What occupations benefit the most from networking?

A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you're focused and you have a dream and you're willing to take action, you are the person we want in the group.

Q5: Are members supposed to bring visitors?

A: Visitors are a great source of new business for the existing members and potential members to pass even more referrals. You're encouraged to bring visitors to help promote the Chapter and the Members.

Q6: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?

A: 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 rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional’s ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional’s ethical code, BNI’s rules are superseded by the dictates of the professional’s ethics code.

Q7: If I specialize in a field within my industry, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my industry?

A: BNI understands that many industries and professions are broad and that people often specialize. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any person to participate in an area ouside their expertise.

Q8: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?

A: BNI’s primary objective is to assist its members in ways to improve their business and to educate them concerning how they can effectively network. Business people get business when their expertise is known and others reach a comfort level with them. BNI provides a forum that allows members to meet other business peers who need to know effective and efficient business people.

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