What is BBB?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a private, nonprofit organization that offers accreditation to companies that meet its standards for trustworthiness and quality. To get BBB accredited, review the standards for accreditation, apply online, and pay the required fee once you’ve been approved. In this article, we explore how BBB accreditation works and how it can help you grow your business.
1. Review the BBB Standards for Accreditation
To ensure your company qualifies to get BBB accreditation, read the list of standards to become a BBB accredited business. They encompass eight aspects that the Better Business Bureau uses to determine your eligibility and rating:
Building trust: Includes being an active business for at least the most recent six months, fully licensed, and free from government actions that would indicate your business is not trustworthy.
Advertising honestly: This includes how you advertise your company’s products and services and your use of the BBB logo and affiliation statements.
Telling the truth: Truthfully representing your business and its products and services, including written and verbal communications.
Transparency: Provide all the documentation requested from the Better Business Bureau and be transparent with customers in contact information, return and refund policies, recurring transactions or customer responsibilities, the total cost of transactions, known issues that could cause a delay, notifications of low inventory, and detailed receipts.
Honoring your promises: Fulfill all your contracts, guarantees, and representations (i.e., customers receive what they paid for).
Being responsive: Resolve customer issues as quickly as possible, including any disputes forwarded to you from the Better Business Bureau. This includes your explanation as well as participating in dispute resolution of the BBB requests and honoring any settlements or decisions made from this process. It’s also important that you cooperate with the Bureau to eliminate any underlying operational issues that could be leading to a pattern of consumer complaints.
Safeguarding privacy: This includes both disclosing how information and data is collected and used and putting safeguards and security measures in place to ensure customer data is protected. You must also respect the requests of customers or contacts relative to their contact preferences.
Doing business with integrity: Approach all professional interactions, transactions, and so on with integrity and good faith, and avoid activities that reflect unfavorably on the BBB and the businesses accredited with it.
If you’re confident that your company meets these standards, move on to the application process. If not, take action to ensure your business is able to meet these criteria, such as fulfilling at least six months in business or making your operational policies more transparent. Then move on to the next step to officially apply for BBB accreditation.
2. Apply for Better Business Bureau Accreditation
Go to bbb.org/apply and fill out your contact information, then click on “Find My Business” below the form. A pop-up will appear where you can search for your business name based on your location. If you don’t see your business listing, click on “Enter Business Information Manually” to return to an extended version of the initial form.
After you’ve provided all the required information to get BBB accredited, click on “Submit Accreditation Application.” You’ll then see a confirmation screen, including an application number that you can use to look up the status of your application online.
3. Pay the Fee to Complete the BBB Accreditation Process
Once the BBB has approved your application, you must then pay the accreditation fee. The accreditation fee varies based on your company size, but your welcome letter will let you know what your fee is.
Once approved and your fee has been paid, you’ll be officially accredited, and your business will be added to the Bureau’s online directory. If your business already has a listing, it will be updated to indicate your membership status and letter grade rating. You’ll also receive both a physical and a digital “BBB Accredited” logo you can use to increase customer trust in your business.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?