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. The Membership Committee has the right to alter a person’s category and/or classification in the event of a member’s change of business or profession.

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

4. An individual may be a member of only one chapter of BNI at any given time.

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 membership may be reviewed 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 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 exceptional medical circumstances. A member may take up to eight weeks medical leave with the Membership Committee's prior approval provided fees are pre-paid for that period of time and an attempt is made to have someone "fill-in" during the medical leave.

10. It is the member’s responsibility to file a concern with the Membership Committee of their chapter if a visitor, who submits an application, in any way conflicts with the member’s category, or the member is concerned about that person's prospective membership. This should be done before the prospective member is approved for membership, in writing, using the Application Objection Form. If there are no objections, the Membership Committee will ‘assume the chapters consent’.

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

12. Transferring members must submit a new member application to the Membership Committee of the chapter they are transferring to for approval. If there are no objections from the members, the Membership Committee will 'assume their consent'. If approved for transfer, all fees are transferable.

13. In the case of problems relating to a member’s business practices or commitment to the chapter, the Membership Committee may, at their sole discretion, put a member on probation.

14. The Membership Committee may recommend to the National Director that a membership be revoked for failure to comply with the policies and/or the Code of Ethics of BNI. In the absence of a Membership Committee, the Leadership Team may fulfil the responsibility.

     15. BNI policies are subject to change. The Leadership Team will be notified regarding all changes.

16. The incoming Leadership Team (President, Vice President & Secretary/Treasurer) must have at least one month's membership in hand and go through training before participating. They must abide by the Non-Competition Agreement signed as part of their original application form. If they fulfil all responsibilities, “term plus” will apply to their membership which prevents their dues aging during the time served on the Leadership Team.

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

18. An individual member cannot belong to any other group that allows only one person per category and/or 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.

19. Multi-level marketing members of BNI should represent their products and services in BNI and not the business opportunity element of their business.

20. Having access to other BNI members' contact details is for the purpose of ‘giving’ referrals and not for soliciting (via e-mail, direct mail or other means) BNI members without their prior approval.

21. All new members must complete Member Success Programme (MSP) training within the first 60 days of their membership. Only after completing the MSP training, may the new member be added to the "speaker roster" for the chapter. Any new members not completing the MSP training within this period may have their membership reviewed by the Membership Committee.

22. A member's membership expires at the end of the given period. Following the Membership Committee's approval for renewal and the member's payment of the next period's fees the membership will be extended.

23. If a company is a member, a single employee needs to be approved by the Membership Committee as that company's representative.  If that employee leaves the company and/or the chapter, the company may put forward a new representative for approval. In the event of the original member leaving the company and reapplying for the same category, the Membership Committee has the right to choose who they accept, however if the individual is chosen, all current fees must be reimbursed by that individual to the company, and the Membership Committee can withhold acceptance until the situation is resolved. (NOTE: This issue is covered in more detail by Policy Memo 94-04).

24. 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 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, payable by all new members.  Fees are paid, annually or biennially. Contact the chapter Secretary/Treasurer or BNI Support ([email protected]) for amounts. Fees may be paid by cheque, direct credit or the following cards: VISA, MASTERCARD, or AMERICAN EXPRESS. Renewing members also have the option to pay by direct credit or online by credit card.

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, where demand for BNI's services is requested.

3. Membership fees are payable by the due date. Members who have not paid by the due date are considered late and may be assessed a late charge. If fees are not paid within 15 days, the member will have expired and the member will not be able to access the website or have PALMS recorded against their name until payment is made.

4. Fees are non-refundable. A certificate of credit for the unused portion of the membership will be given, upon request, to members in good standing.

5. Fees cannot be transferred from one person to another unless the fees were paid by the same company, however Membership Committee approval will still be required.

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.

7. BNI is a marketing service provided in New Zealand by Daffodil Holdings Ltd. BNI reserves the absolute right to discontinue a member’s participation in the BNI organisation or chapter.

     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. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12.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. Upon acceptance into the new chapter, the credit from their previous chapter will be added to their membership in the new chapter.

13.Terms: All term fees are measured from the application/start date. Applications with an induction date between the 1st and the 15th of the month shall begin their term on the first of that month. Applications with an induction date after the 15th of the month shall begin their term on the 1st day of the following month. Terms run for one (1) or two (2) years from the date the term begins.

14. 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.  

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.


BNI New Zealand will take all reasonable precautions in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 to safeguard its members' personal information against loss, misuse or unauthorised use or disclosure. Personal information held by BNI New Zealand about its members can be accessed by the members, and the members have the right to request correction of that information, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993.

Personal data jointly controlled by BNI Worldwide Development Ltd and Daffodil Holdings Management Company Ltd & governed by GDPR and the New Zealand Privacy Act.

Members who do not wish to be listed on the main BNI public website or their own chapter website can elect not to display their details at any time by removing the check mark against the “Show me on BNI Public Websites” option in their BNI Connect profile.

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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