Awards Criteria
Enter your organization for Torch Award consideration

The Business of the Year Torch Awards honors companies whose leaders demonstrate a high level of personal character and ensure that the organization’s practices meet the highest standards of ethics, and consequently generate trust. These companies generate a high level of trust among their employees, their customers and their communities. The award embodies the Better Business Bureau® mission of advancing marketplace trust. BBB Accreditation is not required for application. 

Award Requirements
Before submitting your application, please review the below requirements to make sure your company will meet the award criteria.

  • The applying entity must have a physical location (can be a home-based business) in BBB Northwest's service area of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana or Western Wyoming.
  • Have been in business at least six months (one year for charities).
  • Has earned at least a "B" rating and holds a satisfactory record with BBB.
  • Has not been the recipient of the Business of the Year Torch Awards in the past three years.
  • Has no government agency affiliation. Government contractors can confirm their eligibility by contacting BBB Northwest.


Online Entry Form
Businesses of all sizes are eligible to apply for this award. The form includes a save and resume later feature so it may be completed incrementally. To get started, click the online entry form button below.

The Judging Process

Entries are evaluated by an independent, voluntary panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders. Recipients will be selected by an independent, voluntary panel of judges located in each of the BBB Northwest regions. Remember, since the judges do not know your organization, your written submission (including examples, stories and documents) should provide a robust and accurate description of the organization’s culture.

The Business of the Year Torch Awards is a local, independently judged, peer-reviewed, rigorous competition. Adherence by BBB Northwest to these award eligibility and criteria standards qualifies the winning applicants to be entered into the International Torch Awards competition.


The six criteria for selection are based on the six Principles of TRUST!, established by BBB.

  1. Leaders are reflective and intentionally work to increase the manifestation of their own high character in the organization’s culture. Ethical Enterprising leaders know that positive character traits are an essential guide to life and work. They strive to live and lead accordingly and they intentionally seek feedback in order to make personal improvements.
  2. Leaders reinforce and build a culture of high character ethics. The leader and leadership team intentionally behave and communicate with one another, employees, and stakeholders in ways that are consistent with their beliefs. Their actions follow their words which intentionally reinforces the character culture of their organization and builds a high performance business model.
  3. Leaders unify the organization around clear purpose and compelling convictions. The leader and leadership team, work consistently to ensure clarity of purposes and an adherence to clear convictions that motivate and unite stakeholders. By doing so, they establish and emphasize the "whys" of an organization – why work here, why be a customer, why be a supplier, why be who we are?
  4. Leaders guide organizational performance by implementing high competency management practices. High character must be accompanied by high competency. The leader and leadership team continually manage performance by establishing goals, measuring achievement and allocating just rewards. They establish practices that represent their commitments to the future and the means for the organization to achieve those commitments.
  5. Leaders prize the intrinsic value of people. The leader and the leadership team adopt and implement human resource practices that prepare, continually support/recognize and provide opportunities for growth of all staff members.
  6. The leader and leadership team transfer their ethical beliefs by their active engagement with their industry and the communities from which the organization derives its customers, workforce, vendors, investors, and governance.