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Seal Of Approval Does your business get the thumbs-up from the BBB?

By Jacquelyn Lynn

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As online commerce increases in use and popularity, the Councilof Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has introduced a program thatauthorizes Web sites to display a BBBOnLine seal. To obtainauthorization, companies must be a member of their local BBB,provide information about ownership and management, submit to anon-site inspection, have a satisfactory complaint-handling recordfrom the BBB, vow to respond quickly to consumer complaints, andagree to arbitration to resolve any issues regarding their onlinepractices.

Customers who visit one of the Web sites can click on the sealto verify that the company is a legitimate participant in theprogram. The seal is linked to a participation report, whichprovides additional information about the company. Ifparticipation cannot be confirmed, the customer receives a"not confirmed" message and BBBOnLine is sent anautomatic e-mail message so the site can be investigated.

To get your Web site authorized, head to

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