Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc. (FBLA-PBL) is the largest career student organization in the world. Each year, FBLA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for careers in business.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs.

FBLA-PBL's programs focus on:

  • Leadership Development—members develop essential soft skills by holding chapter officer positions at the local, state, and national levels; by networking with accomplished business professionals; and by participating in business-focused workshops, seminars, and academic competitions.

  • Academic Competitions—members demonstrate their business expertise at high-profile regional, state, and national competitive events. The top students are recognized with trophies and cash awards. Learn more about FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level competitive events.

  • Educational Programs—members create career portfolios, enhance their knowledge with world-recognized skills certifications, and have access to select college scholarships. Learn more about educational programs for FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level.

  • Membership Benefits—members receive exclusive discounts and enhanced benefits for travel, education, and more. Learn about the benefits available to FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level members.

  • Community Service—members work with the March of Dimes to help end premature births by participating in awareness campaigns and the March for Babies fundraiser. Discover how FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level members support the March of Dimes.

  • Awards & Recognition—members build a portfolio of accomplishments with a wide range of awards programs. Learn more about FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level awards programs.

Divisions | Bylaws | Competitions | Publications | Conferences | Structure | Funding | Mission 

History | Dress Code

FBLA-PBL Divisions

  • Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) for high school students, with over 214,000 members and more than 5,250 chapters.

  • FBLA-Middle Level (FBLA-ML) for junior high and middle school students, with over 21,500 members and more than 700 chapters.

  • Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) for college students, with over 10,000 members and more than 500 chapters.

  • Professional Division (PD) for FBLA-PBL alumni, business professionals, educators, and parents who support the goals of the association, with over 3,350 members.


FBLA-PBL is governed by a set of Bylaws, defined and interpreted by the Board of Directors. Each state chapter and local chapter also operates under a set of bylaws. 

Advisers can also find the official bylaws, policies and procedures in the official FBLAPBL, and FBLA-Middle Level Chapter Management Handbooks (CMH).

Academic Competitions

FBLA-PBL's National Awards Program, commonly called competitive events, recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Through state-based competition at the spring State Leadership Conferences, members compete in events that test their business knowledge and skills. Top winners in each state are eligible to compete for honors at the National Leadership Conference each summer.


Advisers and members have access to publications that prepare students for careers in business, help advisers manage their chapters, and much more. Published four times a year, Tomorrow's Business Leader is the flagship publication for FBLA and FBLA-Middle Level students and advisers. Advisers receive the Advisers' Hotline, which is filled with tips and techniques for running an effective FBLA, PBL, or FBLA-Middle Level chapter. Advisers use the FBLA, PBL, and FBLA-Middle Level Chapter Management Handbook (CMH) to manage their chapter operations. The PBL Business Leader is the exclusive publication for PBL members who are about to launch their careers in business. The Professional Division membership receives The Professional Edge publication.

Conferences & Seminars

FBLA-PBL organizes conferences and seminars for members and advisers. These programs are designed to help members develop their business leadership, networking, career development, and social skills.


National Leadership Conference (NLC)

FBLA-PBL members have the competitive edge, as the best and brightest of FBLA and PBL convene to compete in leadership events, share their successes, and discover new ways to shape their careers. Packed with workshops and exhibits, this four-day conference is considered the pinnacle of the FBLA and PBL experience. FBLA-PBL has forged partnerships with industry leaders to underwrite competitive events and scholarships for students that achieve national ranking.

Institute for Leaders (IFL)

Held in conjunction with the National Leadership Conference, the Institute for Leaders is a high-energy, intensive, two-day seminar focuses on leadership development and gives young adults an edge in the career marketplace.

National Fall Leadership Conference (NFLC)

Each fall, new leaders and advisers from chapters across the nation gather for National Fall Leadership Conferences designed to foster leadership skills and team-building. The conferences include workshops, seminars, exhibits, and general sessions, as well as ample networking and social events.

FBLA-PBL Structure

FBLA-PBL is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and organized on local, state, and national levels, with five (5) Regions at the national level.

Business teachers, advisers, and advisory councils (including school officials, businesspeople, and community representatives) guide local chapters. State advisers and committee members coordinate chapter activities for the national organization.

The FBLA concept was developed in 1937 by Dr. Hamden L. Forkner of Columbia University. The first high school chapter was chartered in Johnson City, Tennessee on February 3, 1942. In 1958, the first PBL collegiate chapter was chartered in Iowa. The Professional Division, originally the Alumni Division, began in 1979. Joining FBLA-PBL in 1994 was the FBLA-Middle Level for students in grades 5-9. View the entire History of FBLA-PBL.

The national board of directors is comprised of local teachers, state educators, business leaders, and the division presidents.

Funding & Endorsements

FBLA-PBL is funded by membership dues, conference fees, corporate contributions, and grants. FBLA-PBL is recognized by the Association for Career and Technical Education, International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education, National Association of Parliamentarians, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Business Education Association, and the U.S. Department of Education. 


FBLA-PBL's mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. 


  • Develop competent, aggressive business leadership.

  • Strengthen the confidence of students in themselves and their work.

  • Create more interest in and understanding of American business enterprise.

  • Encourage members in the development of individual projects that contribute to the improvement of home, business, and community. 

  • Develop character, prepare for useful citizenship, and foster patriotism.

  • Encourage and practice efficient money management.

  • Encourage scholarship and promote school loyalty.

  • Assist students in the establishment of occupational goals.

  • Facilitate the transition from school to work.

FBLA-PBL Code of Ethics

  • I WILL be honest and sincere.

  • I WILL approach each task with confidence in my ability to perform my work at a high standard.

  • I WILL willingly accept responsibilities and duties.

  • I WILL seek to profit from my mistakes and take suggestions and criticisms directed toward the improvement of myself and my work.

  • I WILL abide by the rules and regulations of my school.

  • I WILL exercise initiative and responsibility and will cooperate with my employer and fellow workers.

  • I WILL dress and act in a manner that will bring respect to me and to my school.

  • I WILL seek to improve my community by contributing my efforts and my resources to worthwhile projects.


  • I believe education is the right of every person.

  • I believe the future depends on mutual understanding and cooperation among business, industry, labor, religious, family, and educational institutions, as well as people around the world. I agree to do my utmost to bring about understanding and cooperation among all of these groups.

  • I believe every person should prepare for a useful occupation and carry on that occupation in a manner that brings the greatest good to the greatest number.

  • I believe every person should actively work toward improving social, political, community, and family life.

  • I believe every person has the right to earn a living at a useful occupation.

  • I believe every person should take responsibility for carrying out assigned tasks in a manner that brings credit to self, associates, school, and community.

  • I believe I have the responsibility to work efficiently and to think clearly. I promise to use my abilities to make the world a better place for everyone.


I solemnly promise to uphold the aims and responsibilities of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda and, as an active member, I shall strive to develop the qualities necessary in becoming a responsible business leader.

History of FBLA-PBL 

1937—Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, proposes to business teachers across the country that a national organization is needed for the thousands of business clubs in the nation's high schools and colleges.

1940—The National Council for Business Education (now known as the National Business Education Association) sponsors the proposed student organization. Committees are appointed to formulate the organization's general plans. The name "Future Business Leaders of America" is selected for the organization.

1942—An experimental chapter is chartered at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee, on February 3. A second chapter is started two days later in St. Albans, West Virginia. The first collegiate chapter is chartered at the University of Northern Iowa on February 10. By the end of the year, 39 chapters are added. Over the next three and one-half years, another 38 chapters join.

1946—The United Business Education Association assumes sponsorship of FBLA. Headquarters office for FBLA is established at the National Education Association Center in Washington, D.C.

1947—Iowa becomes the first FBLA state chapter. Indiana and Ohio quickly follow. Within the next three years, FBLA state chapters total ten.

1958—The postsecondary division, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), is created.

1969—FBLA-PBL is granted independent status as a nonprofit educational student association under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). FBLA-PBL acquires its own board of directors and full-time staff.

1973—FBLA-PBL appoints Edward D. Miller as the association's first full-time executive director.

1979—The board of directors approves establishment of the FBLA-PBL Alumni Division.

1981—The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation purchases 1.6 acres of land in the Center for Educational Associations, Reston, Virginia, as the site for a future FBLA-PBL National Center.

1987—FBLA annual membership tops 200,000 for the first time.

1989—The Alumni Division is renamed as the Professional Division to include alumni and professional businesspersons.

1990—The groundbreaking ceremony is held for the FBLA-PBL National Center.

1991—The grand opening of the 11,600 square foot FBLA-PBL National Center is held.

1994—The FBLA–Middle Level division is formed for students in grades 5–9.

1997—Edward D. Miller retires as president and chief executive officer of the national association. Jean Buckley is appointed president and chief executive officer.

2001—FBLA-PBL National Center mortgage is retired. 

FBLA-PBL National Dress Code

FBLA-PBL members and advisers should develop an awareness of the image one’s appearance projects. The purpose of the dress code is to uphold the professional image of the association and its members and to prepare students for the business world.

Appropriate attire is required for all attendees—advisers, members, and guests—at all general sessions, competitive events, regional meetings, workshops, and other activities unless otherwise stated in the conference program.

Conference name badges are part of this dress code and must be worn for all conference functions. For safety reasons, do not wear name badges when touring.  

If you have any questions about the FBLA-PBL National Dress Code, please speak with your adviser.

FBLA-PBL Dress Code Poster

Acceptable Attire


  • Business suit with collar dress shirt, and necktie or

  • Sport coat, dress slacks, collar shirt, and necktie or

  • Dress slacks, collar shirt, and necktie

  • Banded collar shirt may be worn only if sport coat or business suit is worn

  • Dress shoes and socks


  • Business suit with blouse or

  • Business pantsuit with blouse or

  • Skirt or dress slacks with blouse or sweater or

  • Business dress

  • Capris or gauchos with coordinating jacket/suit, worn below the knee 

  • Dress shoes


Inappropriate Attire

Inappropriate attire, for both men and women, includes:

  • Jewelry in visible body piercing, other than ears
  • Denim or chambray fabric clothing of any kind, overalls, shorts, skorts, stretch or stirrup pants, exercise or bike shorts
  • Backless, see-through, tight-fitting, spaghetti straps, strapless, extremely short, or low-cut blouses/tops/dresses/skirts
  • T-shirts, Lycra™, spandex, midriff tops, tank tops, bathing suits 
  • Sandals, athletic shoes, industrial work shoes, hiking boots, bare feet, or over-the-knee- 
  • Athletic wear, including sneakers
  • Hats or flannel fabric clothing
  • Bolo ties 
  • Visible foundation garments

CLARIFICATION—Many women’s two-piece suits are currently designed so that they do not require a blouse. Therefore, this will be accepted. In addition, sling-back shoes, open-toe shoes, and sleeveless dresses are accepted.

Revised 1/9/2009