The potential of III-nitride materials for the fabrication of bipolar transistors is investigated theoretically. Several different AlGaN/GaN n-p-n heterojunction bipolar transistor structures are examined through calculations of their band profiles and majority carrier distributions in equilibrium and in forward active mode. Spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization charges are utilized to create large hole sheet carrier densities in the base layer, thus minimizing the base spreading resistance. At the same time, a large accelerating field in the base can help reduce the base transit time of the electrons and, hence, increase the current gains of these devices. The temperature dependence of the hole concentration in the base is also investigated.