A trade association – also known as a business association – is an organisation made up of businesses from one industry whose role is to support these businesses in a number of ways. This can include, for example, participating in public relations activities, acting as an interest group, facilitating networking to enhance collaboration and information exchange, and helping to boost environmental sustainability among industry members. Trade associations provide further support to businesses through the development of codes of practice, complaint procedures and procurement policies. The main difference between trade associations and employer organisations is that the former do not participate in social dialogue.
See also: employer organisations.