The Best Defense

Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a helpful resource for entrepreneurs who want to check out a particular agent or company. But many people don't understand what the BBB really is or how it operates. Companies pay membership fees to be a member of the BBB and must meet certain standards in order to be accepted. When a complaint is filed against any company, the BBB informs that business. The company is then given 30 business days to resolve the problem. If the complaint is not resolved, the problem goes on the company's record. The BBB can even rescind a problem company's membership. When you request a report on a company, the BBB doesn't tell you the total number of complaints filed, only the number of unresolved complaints. Thus, the information you receive isn't the whole story, but it's a good place to start. To check a prospective company, call the BBB in the city in which the business is located.

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This article was originally published in the February 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Best Defense.

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