As an accredited business, you understand the value of running an ethical business, which is evident in your commitment to follow BBB’s Code of Business Practices. When a consumer contacts us, searching for a trustworthy business in your industry, we refer them to you with confidence that your company continues to maintain its agreement.
As a result, BBB conducts an annual review on all accredited business to ensure good standing. A few things that we check for include:
When it comes to marketing, it’s best to let your creative juices flow. However, it’s equally important to ensure all statements are accurate (Standard 2). As a service to our accredited businesses, BBB reviews your website in accordance with BBB’s Code of Advertising. Our trained staff looks for statements that may have the potential to mislead consumers and offer suggested modifications if necessary.
One misuse of advertisement that our staff frequently finds is puffery. For example, many companies tout “the best in the industry,” or “the premier company in Maryland.” The Code of Advertising explains that your company must be able to support or substantiate any claims or offers made before publication. If your company has been named the best in your industry, by a local magazine or newspaper, we encourage you to specify the source in your ad.
If your industry requires a license, BBB contacts the appropriate agency to verify that your company’s registration is up-to-date (Standard 1). If your license is getting ready to expire or has already expired, our business relations staff will notify you and provide an allotted amount of time for you to renew it. Licensing is a major requirement for BBB Accreditation. Businesses that fail to renew their license risk losing BBB Accreditation and receiving an F rating.
Assessment & Taxation
We review the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation website to discover whether our accredited businesses, which are either corporate entities or limited liability companies, are in good standing with the State. This review is a service to our accredited businesses and does not affect your accreditation or your rating. Under Maryland law, at any point in time after a company fails to file its annual report for two consecutive years, its Charter is forfeited.
Forfeiting of the Charter may have serious legal implications to your company. If this happens to your business, we’ll notify you and suggest that you seek advice from an attorney or accountant.
One of the many things that separate our accredited businesses from others is your commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve customer complaints (Standard 6). During our review process, we check to see if there are any pending complaints that have not been addressed. We also look for serious or reoccurring complaint types. If our staff notices any areas of concerns, a dispute resolution specialist will work with you to address potential concerns.
Again, BBB’s annual reviews are intended to ensure your business remains in good standing with BBB’s Code of Business Practices, so we may remain confident is referring potential customers to your business. If you have questions or would like to discuss more details about the review process, please contact us at 410-400-4BBB.