How to Get BBB Accredited

by Chiara Sakuwa; Updated September 26, 2017
Better Business Bureau accreditation publicly affirms your company's pledge to adhere to BBB standards.

Accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can be a valuable advertising asset to businesses throughout the United States and Canada. Although BBB accreditation is not required, the affiliation helps build consumer confidence in your products or services, provides advertising support and dispute resolution services for your business. To obtain BBB accreditation for your business, you must apply at your local Better Business Bureau branch. The Better Business Bureau will review your business infrastructure to ensure that it meets basic accreditation standards, including truth in advertising, public trust and adherence to privacy laws.

Step 1

Find your local Better Business Bureau branch office. Contact the office and gather specifics on application procedures and accreditation standards. Obtain an application package online, by mail or in person.

Step 2

Apply for BBB accreditation by filling out the application package accurately and thoroughly. Ensure that your business meets all accreditation standards. Protocols may vary by location; but the Better Business Bureau holds businesses accountable to eight basic principles: Build trust; advertise honestly; tell the truth; be transparent; honor promises; be responsive; safeguard privacy and embody integrity. Affirm your business practices accreditation standards in good faith with no pending legal action, license issues or negative track record that might disprove your claim.

Step 3

Submit your BBB accreditation application in a timely manner according to your branch office's specifications. Provide copies of any supporting documents BBB requests, which might include business licenses, financial records, consumer reports or reviews, as well as federal and state (provincial) tax information.

Step 4

Check the status of your BBB accreditation application. Turn-around times can vary by location; but expect a response within approximately 30 days. The accreditation process may take longer for businesses that yield discrepancies or violations with BBB accreditation standards. Once BBB accreditation is granted for your business or organization, your branch will notify you and give you permission to display the BBB logo on current and future advertisements. Annual accreditation fees will also accrue.

Tips

  • Annual BBB accreditation dues are, in most cases, 100 percent tax deductible as a business expense.

    Once your business is accredited, the BBB will immediately notify you of any customer complaints in an effort to help your business resolve issues quickly and enhance consumer loyalty.

Warnings

  • Avoid misleading or deceptive advertising practices. Once consumer complaints reach a certain volume, you may be denied BBB accreditation or have your BBB rating lowered or revoked.

    Never display the BBB logo on your company's or organization's ads or website without legitimate accreditation. Doing so can cause future accreditation applications to be denied.

About the Author

Chiara Sakuwa has been a writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in publications such as the "Liberty Champion" newspaper and "The New World Encyclopedia" project. She is also the author of the novel "The Lady Leathernecks." She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Campbell University and a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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