Business Debtors Anonymous (BDA) is a distinct and dynamic but not separate part of DA, created to focus on the recovery of members of the fellowship who are business owners. Together, members of BDA support one another in applying the DA principles and tools when owning and running a business.
However, as part of DA, there is no separate membership for attending Business Debtors Anonymous meetings. As it states in DA’s 3rd Tradition, "The only requirement for DA membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt." This applies to both personal and professional debt. It is understood that paying bills for goods and services rendered according to agreed-upon terms does not constitute debting.
How do you know if you are a compulsively debting business owner? Some of the experiences and behaviors that led to compulsive debting were:
We neither knew when bills or taxes were due, nor did we remember if and what we had paid or still owed.
We confused our personal finances with our business finances.
We often did not know the exact costs of our overhead, operating expenses, or profit margins.
We had no business plan.
We lived in a state of deprivation for the sake of our business.
We undervalued and under-priced our goods and services.
In modern times, BDA membership includes not only business owners, but also independent contractors and the self-employed. If you attend this or other BDA meetings, you will also hear members who are in management and sales positions, using the DA principles and BDA Tools to bring their recovery and spirituality into their work lives. Plus so many artists and writers and musicians. Oh, my!
Some BDA members are retired, or on fixed incomes for other reasons, and are working to develop multiple streams of income, some active income streams and some passive. Last but not least, BDA is home to countless members who have an idea or an inspiration for a business or to be a business owner and are growing spiritually as they prepare to take new actions in pursuit of their visions.
All the DA members described here, and many more, are welcome to attend BDA meetings. Once more, because it's one of our most important DA and BDA principles, "The only requirement for DA membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt." In our experience, every BDA meeting is a DA meeting, but not every DA meeting is a BDA meeting.
As grateful as we are for [the] tools for business owners and other tools of DA, we have found that it is only through working the Twelve Steps of Debtors Anonymous that lasting solvency, recovery, and serenity may be obtained for our businesses and ourselves.
from the pamphlet "Business Debtors Anonymous"
Together we can accomplish what none of us could accomplish separately. This is the simple principle underlying the need for Intergroups. The primary purpose of every DA (and BDA) group is to carry the message of recovery to the still‐suffering debtor and business owner. Most groups operating by themselves cannot do this effectively.
The BDA Intergroup is a gathering of BDA members who represent BDA groups throughout the world. BDA Intergroup meets monthly or semi‐monthly, if we have an extra full agenda, to plan and provide services for BDA members and groups worldwide. BDA Intergroup plays a vital role in carrying the DA and BDA message to the still‐suffering debtor and business owner. We may be the first source of recovery materials found by someone who is struggling with debting, especially debting in business. Therefore, the primary purpose of the BDA Intergroup is to support its member BDA meetings and to help direct BDA newcomers to those BDA meetings.
DA's Threefold Purpose
In DA and BDA, our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience with the newcomer, and to reach out to other debtors.
BDA Intergroup Mission
To create and develop a spiritual and service environment in which Business Debtors Anonymous and its members can grow and thrive.
BDA Intergroup Vision
We are a peaceful, collaborative, high‐functioning service team, energizing each other and fueling each other’s recovery and participation. We are focused on the recovering debtor and business owner, plus those still‐suffering, both inside and outside our DA and BDA rooms, and are
enjoying great diversity, including ages, genders, cultures, and nationalities. We have fun in BDA service!