A business can apply for accreditation by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on their website. Businesses are required to pay a fee to help pay for the costs of reviewing applications.
Accreditation is based on whether a business adheres to BBB's list of standards, states the organization. Businesses seeking accreditation are required to build trust in their marketplace by having been in operation for at least a year, following all licensing requirements of their community, being free from government ethics inquiries, maintaining a B or higher on the local BBB site (in order to keep BBB accreditation after it has been given) and cooperating with BBB investigations and procedures. Businesses must also advertise honestly, and must therefore be in compliance with all relevant advertising laws, abide by BBB policies in advertising, use the BBB logo correctly and avoid false or misleading advertising. The BBB requires a commitment that businesses honestly represent their products and services as well. Businesses must be transparent, both with the BBB and with customers, and must avoid hidden commitments and shipping charges. Contracts signed between the business and its customers must also be followed. In disputes, the BBB requires that the business makes a good faith effort in resolving issues, as determined by BBB policy. Businesses must additionally respect the privacy of individuals, and must also avoid actions that reflect negatively on the BBB and its accredited businesses.