Frequently Asked Questions
Explore answers to frequently asked questions about our organization.
How do I find a chapter?
Finding a chapter is as easy as using our Find a Chapter map. From this feature, you can find out where and when they meet and directly contact the chapter leadership.
How do I join a chapter?
Visiting a chapter is the first step in finding your new referral partners. Once you have visited a chapter that you believe will be a good fit for you, you can apply for membership with the Membership Committee of the chapter. This process involves filling out an application and an interview with the Committee.
How do I get an application and can I apply online?
You can receive an application directly from the Membership Committee of the chapter that you are hoping to join. The Membership Committee and Visitor Host will answer any questions you may have.
Do new members need to be sponsored to join?
No, being sponsored is not a requirement to join. Upon joining a chapter, a new member will be assigned a mentor within the chapter, who will help coach them in developing relationships and in growing professionally and personally using BNI resources.
How do you know new members are reputable?
The application process includes an interview with the Membership Committee and a reference check. This allows our members to know that the new members of their network are in good standing in their profession. Members are also encouraged to have One-to-Ones with new members so they can get to know each other and better identify the strengths and weaknesses of their businesses, ensuring the best referrals can be passed.
What occupations benefit the most from networking?
Any occupation that can accept referrals can benefit from networking.
Are members encouraged to bring visitors?
Of course! Visiting a BNI meeting is the best way for someone to decide if they are interested in becoming a member, and inviting someone to visit your chapter can be instrumental in helping your membership grow. Members are also welcome to invite others from their profession to visit, while they cannot be in the same chapter, the visitor may be interested in joining another chapter in the area.
If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?
BNI does not expect any member to be an expert in all aspects of their profession. On the contrary, being a subject-matter expert in your field and primary area of focus can help the rest of the chapter better learn what you do and how to best refer you.
Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?
BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. As such, BNI requires members to uphold the rules of their professions to not violate their ethical obligations. In the event that BNI’s general rules could potentially violate a professional ethics code, BNI’s rules are superseded by the dictates of the profession’s ethics’ code