Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

Building Better Business through BBB Accreditation



The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Denver/Boulder office has nearly 800 lawyers in its network, 75 of which are accredited with a BBB seal that provides consumers added confidence in their business practices while demonstrating that they meet and support BBB Standards of Trust.

"I often hear that people have checked out my firm's BBB profile, and I believe that's due to the timeliness and consistency of the BBB's quality control," said Georgine Kryda, an attorney who owns a BBB Accredited Business.

Kryda, who also works closely with the BBB Denver/Boulder office as a volunteer arbitrator, said the value of a BBB Accredited Business comes from a willingness by the BBB to actively monitor and assist involved businesses. 

"I've observed first-hand how the BBB's emphasis on fair and efficient resolution of consumer complaints assists all parties in having a voice and truly putting the dispute behind them,” Kryda said. But in order to join consumers with reputable businesses, one key element must form a foundation which transcends the duration of the relationship – trust.

Standards for Trust
The hallmark of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are the
BBB Standards for Trust. These eight principles summarize important elements of creating and maintaining trust in business:

·       Build Trust

·       Advertise Honestly

·       Tell the Truth

·       Be Transparent

·       Honor Promises

·       Be Responsive

·       Safeguard Privacy

·       Embody Integrity

The principles behind the code of behavior that drives the BBB are eerily similar to values that all lawyers are sure to be familiar with. Businesses that embody the Standards for Trust are given a “seal of approval” by the BBB, to reflect their dedication to exhibiting high-level ethical standards.

“Having the BBB seal provides confidence for potential and current clients, which is definitely a plus for attorneys,” said Suzann Bacon-Taylor, Director of Special Programs at the BBB Denver/Boulder office. Formerly the vice president of operations, Bacon-Taylor said her 17 years with the BBB have made it clear how important trust is when it comes to business relationships.

 “Knowing that a business has met all eight Standards for Trust, it definitely gives consumers confidence. It allows them to trust the business they are doing business with,” she said.

Building trust with consumers can be beneficial to any business, from barbershops to graphic design, and especially, law firms.

“BBB Accreditation reflects on whether they intend to run their business to a high standard, and whether they take care of their clients,” said Thomas Darabaris, a business development representative who specializes in attorney accreditations at the BBB Denver/Boulder office. “Especially considering trust and confidentiality is at the center of their entire relationship.”

All BBB Accredited Businesses are given a rating from A+ to F. The BBB logo can be utilized on a business’s page, which provides instant feedback to consumers about the reputation regarding the business they are researching.

The BBB also offers protection by giving an equal voice to both consumers and businesses alike, should a conflict arise once a business agreement has been set in motion.

“If a conflict with a business happens for any reason, it makes them [the consumer] feel confident that they can file a complaint or post a customer review with the BBB, and that the BBB Accredited Business will solve any issues that the complainant has” Bacon-Taylor said.

For issues that are not resolved by the business, consumers can utilize the BBB arbitration/meditation programs or use phone mediation to resolve the issue at-hand.

“It’s not just taking complaints from consumers and helping them through conflicts,” Bacon-Taylor said. ”It’s also helping you to be a better business – much like the Lawyer Self-Assessment program.”

The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and the BBB have worked closely as members of the Proactive Management-Based Subcommittee, an initiative that is responsible for the nation’s first lawyer self-assessment regulatory program. The program itself arises from a multi-year initiative of a subcommittee of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee.

Jim Coyle, Attorney Regulation Counsel, invited Bacon-Taylor to join PMBP several years ago, after the Office’s involvement with BBB quarterly roundtable meetings. The goal of the program was to further proactive regulation, in conjunction with the Office’s efforts to help lawyers successfully navigate the practice of law. However, after speaking with Coyle, Bacon-Taylor said it was clear that there was an essential component to both initiatives – to ensure the voice of the consumer was heard.

“At least from my perspective, being able to talk about the eight Standards for Trust, the importance of trust, and being able to have a voice in this [Lawyer Self-Assessment Program] process has been extremely important,” Bacon-Taylor said.

“Our organizations are trying to accomplish the same thing: BBB is trying to help businesses to be ethical and trustworthy using the eight standards. The Lawyer Self-Assessment Program is helping those attorneys and those businesses do those things, too.”

More information about applying for accreditation can be found here: Become Accredited. Bacon-Taylor urges attorneys to be cognizant of whether they embody all eight Standards for Trust, and to ensure their advertising is up to snuff with the BBB Code of Advertising prior to applying for accreditation.