Companies seeking accreditation by the Better Business Bureau must apply with the BBB offices that represent the companies' regions. Companies can use the locator tool on the Better Business Bureau's website to locate their local BBB offices. The local BBB office reviews the company's application for compliance to BBB accreditation standards, and if the company is compliant, it must pay a membership payment. The company's local BBB then authorizes the company to advertise its BBB accreditation in limited ways.
As of September 2015, BBB-accredited companies must adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practices. This code consists of eight overarching standards. Companies must build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth and be transparent. Companies must also be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity.
Within each of its standards, the BBB establishes further definitions and practices that require adherence by its members. To build trust, for example, companies must have been operational for at least a year at the time of application. Companies must also be properly licensed and bonded within their jurisdictions, not be subject to any disciplinary or remedial governmental actions and maintain at least a "B" rating with the BBB. After accreditation, the BBB continues to monitor companies for compliance to its standards. Failing to assist the BBB in this continual monitoring is grounds for a revocation of accreditation.