What is Business Debtors Anonymous (BDA)?

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. BDA is a part of DA which is a spiritual program based on the 12 steps that began with Alcoholics Anonymous. As part of DA, there is no separate membership for attending BDA meetings.

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 under valued and under priced our goods and services.

In Business Debtors Anonymous (BDA) we learn to operate our business along spiritual lines and find that operating in integrity and being of service is profitable. We accumulate cash reserves, pay our bills and employees on time and build a thriving, prosperous, debt-free and financially solvent business.

The Tools of Business Debtors Anonymous

  1. We keep separate professional and personal financial records and bank accounts.
  2. We write annual one-year business plans with definable and accountable goals and targets.
  3. We keep clean, orderly and accurate financial records, including Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Cash on Hand, Inventory, Assets, and Outstanding Debts, and put all tax and bill due dates on our calendar.
  4. We pay ourselves a salary including benefits, medical insurance, vacations and sick days.
  5. We remain mindful that dollars spent should generate revenue, and compare prices before making purchases.
  6. We maintain clarity about the overhead and profit margins of every product or service we sell.
  7. We pay our bills and invoice our clients promptly.
  8. We put all our business agreements in writing and write our own Letters of Agreement.
  9. We notice the competition but don’t worry about it. We learn from our competitors and trust that it is is an abundant universe with more than enough for everyone.
  10. We detach from difficult personalities and poor paying clients and put principles before personalities.
  11. We bookend before and after making commitments and difficult business decisions or actions.
  12. We are willing to be in charge and responsible for our business. Professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and consultants who work for us are not our Higher Power.

This material is excerpted from Business Debtors Anonymous, a pamphlet which can be ordered via the General Service Board website.


Attending both BDA and DA meetings is beneficial to recovery. Many people attend BDA meetings because they have a vision of becoming a business owner. You are welcome at BDA meetings regardless of whether you currently have your own business.

Local BDA meetings are listed on our Local meetings page and other meetings are on the National DA site.