In the opening paragraphs, here are quick answers to key questions about whether it costs to be listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB):
Does it cost money to be BBB accredited?
Yes, it does cost money for a business to become BBB accredited. The BBB charges an annual fee for accreditation that varies based on the size of the business. The fee covers the cost of vetting the business, handling complaints, and monitoring the business’s adherence to BBB standards.
How much does BBB accreditation cost?
BBB accreditation costs range from $200-$10,000+ per year. The specific fee depends on the size of the business, based on the number of employees or annual sales. Small businesses with 1-4 employees pay $200-$500 per year. Medium businesses with 5-499 employees pay $550-$2500 per year. Large businesses with 500+ employees pay $3000-$10,000+ per year.
Is there a cost to register a business with the BBB?
No, there is no cost for a business to register and create a profile on BBB.org. Registration is free. However, to become an accredited business, there are annual accreditation fees.
Can you be listed on BBB without paying?
Yes, businesses can be listed and have a profile page on BBB.org without paying any registration or accreditation fees. Non-accredited businesses are still able to register for free and claim their profile on the BBB website. However, only accredited businesses can use the BBB accreditation seal.
So in summary, it is free for any business to register and have a basic profile page on the Better Business Bureau website. However, there are annual fees associated with becoming an accredited BBB member that allows using the BBB seal and enhanced services.
What are the benefits of BBB accreditation?
There are several key benefits for businesses that choose to pay for BBB accreditation, including:
- Use of the BBB Accredited Business seal on website and marketing materials
- Increased trust and reputation among consumers who look for the BBB seal
- BBB resolution services for complaints against the business
- Enhanced BBB profile page and services
- BBB advertising and search engine visibility
The BBB accreditation seal is recognized by many consumers and communicates trust and credibility. BBB-accredited businesses commit to uphold the BBB Standards for Trust and to resolve consumer complaints brought to their attention by BBB.
What happens if you don’t pay to renew BBB accreditation?
If an accredited business does not renew their BBB accreditation by paying the annual fee, their accreditation will lapse and they will revert to having a free basic BBB Business Profile. Their business will still be listed on BBB.org, but they will no longer be able to use or display the BBB Accredited Business seals. Consumers searching for businesses on BBB.org will also see that the business is not currently accredited.
Can you get all the BBB member benefits without paying?
No, the key benefits of BBB accreditation, like the BBB seal usage, dispute resolution services, and enhanced online profile, require paying the annual accreditation fee. Non-accredited businesses have a free basic online profile, but do not receive the full range of services and visibility.
In summary, while any business can register and be listed for free on BBB.org, there are fees associated with accreditation status. BBB member dues and accreditation fees support the BBB’s mission of advancing marketplace trust through industry self-regulation. Consumers rely on BBB ratings and accredited businesses, so many companies find value in the modest investment for accreditation.
BBB Accreditation Costs
The specific fees to become an accredited BBB member vary based on business size and location. Here are the typical costs:
|Typical Annual Fee Range
|$200 – $500
|$550 – $2,500
Businesses can contact their local BBB office to get an exact accreditation quote based on their location, size, and industry. Discounts may be available for charities or home-based businesses. All accredited businesses also pay a one-time processing fee that averages $175.
BBB Membership Benefits
Below is an overview of key benefits available exclusively to BBB Accredited Businesses who pay membership dues:
BBB Accreditation Seals
Accredited businesses can use BBB seals on websites, social media, print ads, and other marketing materials. The seals signify the company adheres to BBB standards and is trusted by consumers.
BBB Reliability Reports
Accredited businesses get enhanced BBB Business Profiles that show current accreditation, ratings, customer reviews, complaints, and more. This builds trust and transparency.
BBB Advertising & Visibility
The BBB promotes and spotlights accredited members through various online and offline channels to boost visibility and search engine rankings.
BBB Dispute Resolution
The BBB assists accredited businesses in resolving marketplace disputes with consumers, providing mediation services as needed.
BBB Trust Seal Link
Members can add a trust seal link on their website, allowing consumers to easily verify current accreditation status.
BBB Networking & Events
BBB hosts many local events to connect accredited businesses with consumers and other members.
In addition to these benefits, the BBB provides ongoing support, advocacy, and trusted services to accredited member businesses.
Considerations for BBB Listing
There are a few key factors businesses should consider when deciding whether to become accredited by the Better Business Bureau:
The annual fees range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars based on company size. Businesses should weigh the cost versus expected benefits.
BBB accredited businesses must adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practices and commit to resolving customer complaints.
Consumers can leave reviews of both accredited and non-accredited businesses. Poor reviews may still be visible even with accreditation.
If key competitors are BBB accredited, there may be more pressure to also get accredited.
Accreditation standards vary by industry, so some businesses may not qualify based on their sector.
Weighing these factors can help business owners decide if the benefits of trust and visibility from BBB accreditation are worth the investment for their company.
Maintaining BBB Accreditation
To maintain accreditation each year, BBB accredited businesses must:
- Pay annual membership dues on time
- Maintain at least a B rating
- Resolve consumer disputes appropriately
- Avoid government actions against the business
- Follow any industry-specific BBB accreditation standards
The BBB will conduct periodic reviews and complaint analyses to ensure accredited businesses continue meeting standards. Failing to resolve complaints or maintain standards can impact a business’s rating or lead to revoked accreditation.
BBB Ratings Scale
Both accredited and non-accredited businesses are graded on the following A+ to F ratings scale by the BBB:
|Highest degree of trust
The rating reflects the BBB’s opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers. Ratings are based on complaint history, transparency, and honesty.
Search Engine Visibility
One of the key benefits of BBB accreditation is increased online visibility and search engine rankings. When consumers search for highly-rated, trustworthy businesses on Google, BBB-accredited companies often come up as top results.
Key factors that improve search rankings include:
- Prominently displaying the BBB Accredited Business seal and trust mark on the company website.
- Linking to the business’s BBB profile page from the company website.
- Favorable customer reviews and high BBB ratings.
- BBB advertising and SEO optimization initiatives.
- Having an informative, claims-based BBB profile page.
Maintaining strong BBB standing helps accredited businesses show up higher in local search rankings and be featured prominently on the BBB website itself.
BBB Charity Accreditation
In addition to business accreditation, the BBB also provides charity accreditation. Similar benefits include use of BBB charity seals, dispute resolution, enhanced online profiles, and visibility. To qualify, charities must meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.
Annual fees for charity accreditation are based on total contributions and range from $200 for charities with less than $500,000 in annual contributions to $15,000 for those raising over $50 million. Discounts are available for newly registered charities.
Complaint Resolution Process
One of the key BBB functions is helping resolve disputes between accredited businesses and their customers. The process typically involves the following steps:
- Consumer submits complaint to BBB.
- BBB notifies business of complaint.
- Business has 14 days to respond to complaint.
- BBB facilitates communication between parties to reach a resolution.
- BBB records final resolution or recommends mediation.
BBB-accredited businesses commit to making good faith efforts to resolve complaints. Failure to respond or make efforts can impact the business’s rating and accreditation status.
Benefits for Consumers
There are a number of benefits consumers can receive by checking businesses on BBB.org, including:
- Seeing BBB ratings, reviews and complaints.
- Researching whether a business is currently accredited.
- Learning about resolved and ongoing disputes.
- Filing complaints to dispute poor service.
- Verifying authenticity of BBB accreditation seals.
- Evaluating business track records over time.
BBB aims to promote truth in advertising and ethical business practices. Consumers relying on BBB ratings and accredited business seals can shop with increased confidence.
History of the BBB
The Better Business Bureau was founded in 1912 by the Association of Better Business Bureaus as a non-profit organization focusing on truth in advertising, anti-fraud efforts, and creation of ethical standards for businesses. Key events in BBB history include:
- 1912 – The first BBB is founded in Minneapolis.
- 1916 – The National Better Business Bureau Association forms.
- 1935 – BBB launches national advertising monitoring programs.
- 1971 – BBB establishes a code of advertising standards.
- 1991 – BBB merges with national charity monitoring services.
- 2019 – BBB serves over 400,000 Accredited Businesses in North America.
For over 100 years, the BBB system has promoted honesty and ethical business practices across North America. Today, it remains committed to fostering trust between businesses and consumers.
BBB accreditation provides a range of benefits and increased visibility for member businesses who pay annual dues and meet BBB standards. While a free basic listing is available on BBB.org for any business, only accredited members can fully utilize BBB services, ratings, seals and dispute resolution. For consumers, the BBB offers an additional layer of protection and reassurance when shopping.