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Membership Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in joining the Alliance of Area Business Publishers (AABP). Below are the guidelines for membership. Membership in AABP is open to publications that are in the business of publishing for a profit local, state, regional and/or metropolitan independent, printed general business periodicals.


  1. Publications that qualify must publish a minimum of 6 issues per year and have been in business for at least 1 year before joining AABP.
  2. Each member’s circulation must be audited, not later than eighteen (18) months following acceptance as an active member, by either ABC, BPA, VAC, CVC or such other auditing firms as the Board of Directors deems necessary to validate circulation. A copy of the audit or a letter from the audit company indicating that an audit is in process must be submitted with the membership application.
  3. .The applicant publication’s primary mode of delivery to readers shall be by mail or comparable means. Free bulk distribution through racks is not acceptable as a primary means of delivery.
  4. Members must be published as an enterprise organized for profit. All nonprofit publications (such as Chamber of Commerce newsletters and association newsletters) and for-profit publications owned by nonprofit entities are excluded.
  5. Members must be focused on broad business coverage of multiple industries, not just coverage of a single industry. Trade publications are excluded.
  6. Publications focused primarily on providing specialized real estate listings, buyer arrivals and financial listings such as bankruptcies and incorporations are excluded.
  7. The applicant publication routinely shall provide a forum for community commentary and opinion.
  8. The applicant publication must be delivered as a freestanding publication, not as an insert in another publication.
  9. The ratio of advertising to editorial pages in an applicant’s publication shall not exceed an annual average of 75 percent advertising.
  10. The applicant publication’s editorial content shall be free of undue influence from other business interests of its ownership. Advertiser-supplied content must be clearly labeled. Editorial content may not be provided in exchange for advertising dollars. The applicant’s core editorial content or feature well stories in magazines should follow high ethical and journalistic practices such as using multiple sources, data and research to explore people and issues of importance to their community.
  11. AABP members are required to donate up to two (2) full page, 4-color ads per year as part of the AABP Group Ad Buy program at no charge to AABP. The net proceeds after paying commission and administrative fees go to AABP to underwrite numerous member benefits and keep the costs of attending meetings and membership dues as low as possible.

Each applicant for Active membership shall pay an initiation fee with the application. Upon approval of membership, an invoice for a pro rata portion of the balance of the first-year dues will be sent. Active membership may be granted by the Board of Directors upon recommendation of the Standards Committee.

Associate Memberships Guidelines:

  1. Any corporation that supplies services to any AABP member shall be entitled, upon payment of dues, to become an Associate Member and shall be invited to take part in AABP meetings.