What you need to know before you join
- Only one person from each profession is permitted to join a chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each chapter have final authority relating to classification conflicts.
- Members must represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.
- The weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members need to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting.
- An individual may be a member of only one chapter of BNI at any given time.
- 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 three absences every six months (April through September and October through March). More than this and the member is subject to removal by the chapter's Leadership Team or Membership Committee.
- 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.
- Visitors may attend chapter meetings up to two times.
- Speakers must bring a door prize. Only members bringing a visitor or a referral are eligible for the door prize.
- 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 their fees are pre-paid for that period of time and they attempt to have someone "fill-in" during their leave.
- 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."
- Members who wish to change their classification must submit a new membership application and get approval from the Membership Committee for that classification change.
- Transferring members must submit a new member application to the Membership Committee of the chapter they are transferring to for approval. If approved for transfer, all fees are transferable.
- 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.
- 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 fulfill that responsibility.
- Policies are subject to change. The Leadership Team will be notified regarding all changes.
- If the Leadership Team fulfills 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.
- In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad hoc Membership Committee until one is established.
- An individual member should not be a member of any other group that allows only one person per profession and whose primary purpose is to pass referrals to one another because it substantially reduces their commitment to the chapter members. Membership Committees have full authority in this area.