Despite compelling evidence that a large proportion of antigens encountered in vivo by B cells are membrane bound, the general view is that B cells are mainly activated by soluble antigens. This notion may have been biased somewhat over the years because the high affinity of the B-cell receptor (BCR) for soluble intact ligands allows efficient B-cell stimulation in vitro. In vivo, however, even soluble antigens are likely to be deposited on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, either by complement or Fc receptors in the form of immune complexes, thus becoming more potent stimulators of B-cell activation. In this framework, the BCR works in a complex environment of integrins and coreceptors, as well as the B-cell cytoskeleton. Over the last few years, we have focused on B-cell membrane-bound antigen recognition. Here, we discuss some of our findings in the context of what is currently known in this exciting new field.