Proper Use of the BBB Accredited Business Seal

January 29, 2013

To All Central Virginia Media Outlets:


Below please find a summary of the proper use of the BBB Accredited Business seal and/or BBB rating in advertising and editorial content. We are required to communicate this information to you on an annual basis.

Because of the frequent counterfeiting of the BBB trademarks, we request that your publication please assist us to ensure that only accredited businesses which meet the BBB standards display the BBB Accredited Business seal. The various acceptable versions of our Accredited Business seal are shown in the Attachment.

No other seal or BBB trademark may be displayed.

We would greatly appreciate if you would have the business provide you with confirmation of their accreditation and/or rating by providing a link to its BBB Business Review. You may also independently look up a business’s accreditation status and rating by visiting and searching by city, state and business name. When in doubt, you may contact me at 804/888.648.0030 or

When accepting advertising from a business that wants to use the BBB seal in their ad, please refer to these guidelines to make sure only those businesses that meet our standards are advertising as such.

We have different guidelines depending on whether the advertisement is online or in traditional print media.



Accredited businesses are permitted to:

· Use the BBB Accredited Business seal to advertise their BBB accreditation with a hyperlink to their BBB Business Review. The minimum size the seal may be reproduced is 63x101 pixels for vertical seals and 96x37 pixels for horizontal seals. See the Attachment.

· Advertise as a “BBB Accredited Business” and, at the business’s discretion, include their current rating, with or without the seal.


Accredited businesses are permitted to:

· Advertise the BBB Accredited Business seal and/or the statement “BBB Accredited Business.”

· They may only advertise their accreditation in the geographic area where they are accredited.


BBBs also provide business reviews and ratings for non-accredited businesses based on the same set of ratings standards they apply to accredited businesses. Such businesses are not allowed to display the BBB Accredited Business seal because they have not agreed to adhere to the BBB Code of Business Practices and have not paid the requisite licensing fee.

Non-accredited businesses, however, may advertise their current BBB rating. For instance, “BBB rating of A+” is acceptable.

Again, we request that you verify the correct rating is being advertised by checking the online BBB Business Review. Note that ratings can change at any time based on business complaints and other activity, and thus we require that a business always display a current rating.


Under no circumstances can any advertising imply that a product or service is endorsed or preferred by BBB. Prohibited statements include “Member, BBB,” “Registered with BBB” or “Check out our record with the BBB.”

Under no circumstances can any advertising include the “Start with Trust®” service mark.

If you or any of your colleagues have questions, or if questions arise when you are reviewing ad copy, again please do not hesitate to call or email me at 804/888.648.0030 or

Thank you for your continued support of our mission to Start with Trust®.


Paula Stallard

Communications & Marketing Director

BBB serving Central Virginia serves Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Richmond and Tri-Cities, as well as 42 surrounding counties, from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business reliability reports, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education and charity review.