BNI General Policies


  1. Only one person from each profession or classification is allowed to join a Chapter of BNI.  The Membership Committees of each Chapter have the final authority in relation to classification conflicts.
  2. Members must only ever represent their primary occupation,  never their part-time business.
  3. The weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members must arrive on time and are obliged to stay for the whole meeting.
  4. An individual member may not be in a second BNI chapter or another group which allows one person per profession and whose primary purpose is to pass referrals to one another.  This is because it substantially reduces their commitment to the chapter members. It is up to the individual Membership Committees to enforce this policy.
  5. Attendance is critical to the group. If a member cannot attend, a substitution may be sent – as long as they are not already chapter members.  This does not count as an absence.  Members are not allowed more than three absences during a three-month period. More than three absences may result in removal by the Chapter;s Leadership Team or 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 twice.
  8. Speakers must bring a door prize. Only members bringing a visitor or a referral are eligible for the door prize.
  9. All new members must attend the Member Success Programme in their region within the first 60 days of joining. Only after attending the training may the new member be added to the ‘speaker rotation’ for that Chapter. Any new members not attending the training within 60 days of induction into the Chapter, will be subject to having their classification opened by the Membership Committee.
  10. There are no leaves of absence other than for exceptional medical circumstances. A member may take up to eight weeks medical leave with the Membership Committee’s prior approval if their dues are pre-paid for that period of time and they attempt to have someone ‘fill-in’ during their leave.
  11. It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of their Chapter if a visitor 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’.
  12. Members who wish to change their classification must submit a new membership application and obtain approval from the Membership Committee for that classification change.
  13. Transferring members must submit a new membership application to the Membership Committee of the Chapter they are transferring to for approval. If approved for transfer, all fees are transferable.
  14. 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.
  15. Memberships may be revoked for failure to comply with the policies and/or the Code of Ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any Chapter may revoke memberships. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfil that responsibility.
  16. BNI Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Board of Advisors.
  17. 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 outlined in the Leadership Team Agreement in order to hold a position and must go through training before participating.
  18. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad-hoc Membership Committee until one is established.
  19. BNI Membership lists are for the purpose of ‘giving’ referrals and not for soliciting (via e-mail, direct mail or other means) BNI members without their prior approval.
  20. Other than normal BNI printed materials, members may not use the BNI Intellectual Property (eg. 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.


  1. There is an initial registration fee. Fees are paid annually or biennially. Contact the local Secretary/Treasurer for amounts. Fees can be paid by cheque or the following cards: VISA, MASTERCARD, DELTA or MAESTRO.
  2. BNI may establish Chapters in any community with people interested in developing a referral-based business. In addition, BNI reserves the right to open more than one Chapter per community.
  3. Membership fees are payable 30 days prior to the due date. Members who have not paid by the first meeting of the month they are due are considered late and will be liable to a £20 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 fees.
  5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees were paid by the same company.
  6. 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 liable to a minimum £25 returned cheque fee. If a member passes a second NSF cheque, that member will be subject to immediate termination.
  7. BNI is a marketing service provided by BNI Enterprises Inc. BNI or any of its franchisees reserve the right to discontinue a member’s participation in the programme.
  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.