BNI Member Policies and Guidelines

BNI Member Policies, Guidelines, Code of Ethics and Privacy Statement 


Success in BNI means you need to be a positive and supportive member of an organisation which is based upon a philosophy of mutual support. This requires commitment to your fellow members as well as to the philosophy of ‘Givers Gain’: by giving business to others, you will get business in return.

CODE OF ETHICS to be followed by members:

1. I will provide the quality of services at the prices that I have quoted.

2. I will be truthful with the members and their referrals.

3. I will build goodwill and trust among members and their referrals.

4. I will take responsibility for following up on the referrals I receive.

5. I will live up to the ethical standards of my profession.*

6. I will display a positive and supportive attitude with BNI members.

*(Professional standards outlined in a formal code of ethics, supersede the above standards.)


1. Only one person from each category is permitted to join a chapter of BNI. Membership Committees of each Chapter have final authority relating to category conflicts.

2. Members must represent their primary occupation, not a part-time business.

3. The weekly meetings last for 90 minutes. Members need to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting.

4. An individual Member cannot be in a second BNI Chapter nor in 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 must enforce this policy.

5. Attendance is critical to the group. If a Member cannot attend, they may send a substitute (not a Member of their own Chapter) to the meeting. This will not count as an absence. A Member is allowed three absences in any rolling six-month period. More than this and the individual's category is subject to being opened by the Chapter’s 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 up to two times.

8. Speakers must bring a door prize. Only Members bringing a visitor or a referral are eligible for the door prize.

9. There are no leaves of absence except for medical leave and parental leave. A Member may take up to eight weeks medical leave with the Membership Committee's prior approval if fees are pre-paid for that period of time and they attempt to have someone "fill-in" during the leave.

10. It is the Member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of their Chapter if a visitor submits an application that in any way conflicts with their category. This should be done before the visitor is approved for membership. If there are no complaints, the Membership Committee will assume their consent.

11. Members who wish to change their professional category must submit a new member application and get approval from the Membership Committee for the category change.

12. In the 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.

13. A Member’s category may be opened for failure to comply with the policies and/or the code of ethics of BNI. Membership Committees of any Chapter may open categories. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfil that responsibility.

14. If the Leadership Team fulfils all responsibilities throughout their term, they will receive as consideration an exemption of dues during their tenure as a Leadership Team Member. 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.

15. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may act as an ad-hoc Membership Committee until one is established.

16. All BNI Membership lists are for the purpose of ‘giving’ referrals and not for soliciting (via e-mail, direct mail or other means) BNI members or Director Consultants without their prior approval.

17. All new Members must complete Member Success Program (MSP) training within the first 60 days of their induction. Only after completing the MSP training, may the new Member be added to the speaker rotation for the Chapter. Any new Members not completing the MSP training within the first 60 days after being inducted into the Chapter will be subject to having their category opened by the Membership Committee.

18. Policies are subject to change. All proposed policy changes need to be reviewed first by the Board of Advisors.

19. Other than normal BNI printed materials, Members may not use the BNI Intellectual Property (e.g. 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 Global or the appropriate National Office. Members must agree to abide by the BNI Branding Standards for any permitted use.


1. There is an initial application fee. Participation fees are paid annually or biennially. Contact the local Secretary/Treasurer for amounts and payment instructions.

2. BNI may establish Chapters in every city or community with people interested in developing a referral-based business. In addition, BNI reserves the right to open more than one Chapter per community or city where demand for BNI's services are requested.

3. Membership fees are payable 30 days prior to the due date. Members not paid by the first day of the month are considered late and will be assessed a 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 time.

5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees are from the same company.

6. Member’s entering into a finance agreement to pay their BNI membership are bound by the terms of their agreement with Fifo Capital, however if the member should default on their payments, BNI has the right to revoke their membership. If a member is in default, Leadership Teams and /or BNI Director Consultants may be advised of the details as part of the recovery/follow up process.

7. BNI is a marketing service provided by BNI Global, LLC. BNI or any of its Franchisees/Sub Franchisees reserve the right to discontinue a Member’s participation in this program.

(i) Each chapter is part of the Company's operation and intellectual property;

(ii) Members are not agents of the Company but are permitted by the Company to be involved in a chapter and use the BNI system strictly under the terms of the policies and only while a member.

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 6 months of paid membership credit, they must submit a renewal payment. Or, if the Member has more than 6 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.

9. By applying for membership in a New Zealand BNI Chapter you agree to BNI NZ emailing you periodic information about your membership status, referral marketing and the BNI newsletters. You provide permission for BNI NZ to publish any photographs taken of you at BNI events, and your name and likeness, for use in BNI NZ's print, online and video-based marketing materials, as well as other company communications.

10. Agents and third party contractors: occasionally we engage companies or individuals to perform functions on our behalf related to your membership of BNI (e.g. administration functions). Where we use such third-party contractors, we may need to share some of your personal information to allow them to perform the functions for which they were engaged. Through our contractual relationships with those third party contractors we ensure that they abide by the terms of our privacy policies (including the Privacy Act), that they keep your personal information confidential and secure, and that they only use such information for the purposes for which it was shared with them.

11. Each member will indemnify the Company against any liability etc. for any statements or actions the member may make or take that result in liability for the Company.

12. The Company is the only person entitled to represent BNI in any relationships with the public via the media and so on. All Members will be covered by the non-competition agreement below.

13. Each Member agrees not to take any action or make any claim against any Member of the Leadership Team for any matter relating to BNI.

Non-competition Agreement

While you are a member of BNI and for a period of 6-months after you have ceased to be a member of BNI, you undertake:

1. Not to become a member of another referral organisation that is in direct competition with BNI. This restriction does not include Chambers of Commerce or service clubs such as Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis.

2. Not to utilise and/or directly or indirectly divulge or disclose to others any of BNI’s trade secrets or confidential information acquired by you in the course of your membership relating to the operations, functions, activities or product development of BNI except to the extent that such information has become common knowledge.

3. Not to participate in, or assist with, either directly or indirectly, any chapter, region or group that breaks away from BNI.

4. Not to compete with BNI, either directly or indirectly, by starting, assisting and/or taking employment with a competing organisation.

5. That any documents, manuals or records (including written instructions, notes or memoranda) relating to BNI’s business and trade secrets which are made by you or which come into your possession during the period of your membership of BNI shall be deemed to be the property of BNI, and shall be surrendered to BNI on demand, and in any event upon the termination of your membership of BNI, and you will not retain any copies of, or extracts from, that material.

For the purpose of this agreement, “BNI’s business and trade secrets” shall mean:

1. All internal control systems, including accounting and administration

2. Financial details of BNI’s relationship with its suppliers and members

3. Names of members and potential members

4. All group operating procedures

5. All other matters that relate to the business of BNI (All of the matters set out above shall only be deemed to be BNI’s trade secrets if they are peculiar and special to BNI and its business). Should any part or portion of this agreement be held invalid the remainder of the agreement shall continue in full force and effect.


Privacy Act 1993 Please note that the information you provide in this application form will be seen by the chapter’s Membership Committee when they assess your suitability for membership. At the conclusion of the screening process, this form will be forwarded to BNI Support for secure storage. If you are accepted as a member, minimum information will be loaded onto the BNI website. Personal data is jointly controlled by BNI worldwide Development Ltd and Daffodil Holdings Management Company Ltd & governed by GDPR and the New Zealand Privacy Act. You will be responsible for adding any other details about yourself, your organisation and the work you do to the website. Members who do not wish to be listed on BNI public websites may elect not to display their details at any time by removing the check against the “Show me on BNI Public Websites” option in their BNI Connect profile.  BNI Privacy Statement is detailed on the website

The BNI websites are not to be used for the purposes of generating mailing lists/spam emails.

If you have any queries or concerns about our website privacy policy, please contact us in writing: 

BNI New Zealand
PO Box 60521

Auckland 0642

You can also contact us via our secure online form.

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