The A.A. Group

What is an A.A. group?

Any gathering of two or more alcoholics who wish to recover and have no other affiliation may call themselves an A.A. group. Membership at the group level is open to all who have a desire to recover from alcoholism. There are no dues, fees, requirements or restrictions of any kind. There’s no formal application to join a group.

What’s the purpose of A.A. groups? All groups exist to help those who suffer from the disease of alcoholism.

The A.A. Group Handbook

The Group Handbook contains a variety of resources that many groups find helpful. New groups receive a physical copy of the  handbook when they list themselves with the General Service Office.

group handbook

Is your group linked to A.A. as a whole?

Most groups in the United States and Canada choose to be linked to A.A. as a whole by listing the group with the General Service Office, as well as with the Area Assembly, district and local central/intergroup office.

Learn More >


Frequently Asked Questions About Groups and Meetings

How do we start a new A.A. group?

Reasons for starting a new group vary, but the ways to go about it are basically the same. Important to establishing an A.A. group is the need for one as expressed by at least two or three alcoholics; the cooperation of other A.A. members; a meeting place; a coffee pot; A.A. literature and meeting lists; and other supplies. Once the group is off to a good start, it would be helpful to announce its presence to neighboring groups; your local intergroup (central) office, if there is one; your district and area committees; and the General Service Office. These sources can provide much support. Contact GSO for copies of the New Group Form, which should be completed and returned for the new group to be listed. Each new group receives a complimentary handbook and a small supply of literature at no charge when it is listed with GSO (one of the many services made possible by the regular support of other A.A. groups and individual members). The New Group Form can be downloaded from our website (, or requested by mail at GSO, Box 459, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163.


How do you become an A.A. group member?

Group membership requires no formal application. As stated in Tradition Three, “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking." Just as we are members of A.A. if we say we are, so are we members of a group if we say we are.


Where can I find the form I need to send to GSO?

How can I obtain a tax ID number for my group?

Please see the A.A. Finance Guidelines (publication MG-15) section entitled "Bank Accounts & Tax ID numbers" (page 4). This publication is available at no cost on our website.


What are central offices or intergroups?

A central office or intergroup is an A.A. service office that involves partnership among groups in a community — just as A.A. groups themselves are partnerships of individuals. A central office/intergroup is established to carry out certain functions common to all the groups — functions that are best handled by a centralized office — and it is usually maintained, supervised and supported by these groups in their general interest. It exists to aid the groups in their common purpose of carrying the A.A. message to the alcoholic who still suffers.

MG-02 Guidelines on Central or Intergroup Offices