business womanWe have all heard the following claims in the zeal of promotion and recruitment.

  1. Multi-level marketing (MLM) classes are taught at Harvard Business School.
  2. Network marketing has produced more millionaires than any other type of business.
  3. MLM will dominate the economy in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, these statements are “urban” MLM myths that are over the top and damage the credibility of distributors and companies, as they promote the truly positive opportunities of direct selling.

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MLMLegal.com’s most requested FAQ this month answered in a video by MLM expert Attorney, Jeff Babener: How Many Level Deep (in the compensation plan) is it Legal to Go?

The issue of depth of levels seemed to be a major focus prior to the internet and other non-postal (mail) means of communication. In the late 1980’s, the U.S. Postal service examined the numbers of compensation plan levels to make a determination, whether or not, in its opinion, the depth of levels created a “lottery” element under U.S. Postal lottery laws, that forbid payment based on chance.

Various cases and consents sorted out a safe harbor (at least from the U.S. Postal Office standpoint) for at least four levels (not necessarily agreed to by the direct selling industry). Separately, the Postal Service looked for evidence of “supervisory requirements.” Most companies adopted specific supervisory requirements of sponsors to demonstrate some managerial activity by distributors.

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If a Sales Kit or Startup Fee Is Several Hundred Dollars, Then Is This Considered “Frontloading?”

Frontloading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring distributor, encourages a new distributor to purchase far more than is commercially reasonable under the circumstances. For a more detailed explanation, watch this video by expert MLM Attorney, Jeff Babener.

Front loading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring distributor, encourages a new distributor to purchase far more product than is commercially

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MLMAttorney’s most requested video of the month: What Is the U.S. and International Trend in Recognizing the Validity of Personal Use by Distributors in
Pyramid Cases?

In short, is it legal to motivate distributors to buy products in order for them to qualify for the compensation plan rewards as opposed to purchasing product/services for their own personal use or for resale? This question greatly impacts direct selling companies and their owners/executives. Read the recent Burnlounge decision on our website.

In the last 10 years, distributor personal use, as a legitimate end-destination for product/service has been increasingly recognized by courts, legislatures and regulators. In 2013 and 2014, two European Union tribunals; now counting more than a dozen U.S. states have amended MLM statutes. In 2004, an FTC advisory opinion applauded efficiencies of

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Renovation of MLMLegal.com- Come Visit the New and Improved Website

MLMLegal.com is Upgraded: Easy-to-Use Navigation Bars, Stylized Images, Organized Landing Pages for Articles, Videos, & MLM Legal

Come visit the new and improved MLMLegal.com! This is the first major renovation of MLMLegal.com. MLMLegal.com’s new face is easy to navigate and full of valuable and educational content, pertinent to direct sellers. And Babener & Associates is working on updating more pages throughout 2016.

A new and easy-to-use navigation bar helps visitors easily find what they are looking for, whether it is the blog, articles, videos, MLM resources, conference pages, or one of the many other resources available on the website for network marketers.

The main homepage image was provided by expert MLM Attorney himself, Jeff Babener, while on a trip to Europe. These beautiful mountains provide the metaphor “Let Us Be Your Guide.” Let the Law Office of Babener and Associates, MLMLegal.com, guide clients through the sometimes difficult MLM industry and its legal climate. As experienced network marketing attorneys, who have been in the industry for over three decades, and who represent companies such as Melaleuca, Avon, Herbalife, NuSkin, USANA, Nerium, Excel, and Team National, our firm has the experience and credibility to help direct selling companies navigate the direct selling industry.

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Absolutely! Incentives increase sales. However, sales incentives go by many names and shapes and sizes. Obviously, the understood and expected incentives are bonuses and commissions. Since companies are trying to incentivize different types of behavior, the compensation plans of companies are often complex and multi-task to provide incentives for retail selling, preferred recurring customers, building wide, building deep, working with immediate downline and deep into a downline, time sensitive personal and group sales production, personal and group sales, longevity,

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Some companies state that you can’t recruit people that you didn’t personally sponsor. If you personally sponsor a friend or family member then why can’t you recruit them to join you at your new company?
The short answer is that company policies have evolved over the years resulting from a combination of increased raiding by distributors who switch companies, on the one hand, and secondly, direct selling companies have become more rigid in trying to retain their sales force, sometimes with good reason, and sometimes appearing to be an “overreach.”
Leading direct selling companies, for instance, around 20 years ago, maintained a policy that required consultants to only offer the opportunity to people that they personally sponsored. That policy was common 20 years ago.
Over time that policy changed. With the increased ease of communication due to technology, many companies asked that consultants not participate in raiding anyone in their organization while they were active with a company. The policy morphed again to require consultants not to sponsor anyone in a new opportunity except for those that they personally sponsored upon leaving for a new company. Then the policy changed again to where companies required that consultants who left a company not sponsor anyone into the new company. In a few instances, some companies have provided non-compete agreements, which aren’t considered fair and not

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The answer here is somewhat “tongue and cheek” and should be taken with a “grain of salt.” This question is often asked of people who are starting network marketing companies. The majority, if not all of them, respond as wanting to recruit MLM professionals to their companies. An industry observer once commented wryly that too often, “junkies” and “professionals” are merely flip sides of the same coin. Said the commentator, “A MLM junkie is someone who will raid your distributors and take them to another company, while a MLM prhttp://mlmattorney.com/Video-Junkie.htmlofessional is someone who leaves their current company, raids their distributors, and brings them to your company!” Therefore, it depends on which hat you are wearing that day – if you’re the company that benefits — as to whether these kinds of consultants are “professionals” or “MLM junkies.”

In all seriousness, the above comment too often has more than a kernel of truth.

Companies that pay people to bring recruits with them to the new company are not conducting good business strategy. They will often claim to bring thousands, only bring a few, and still get their money. Unfortunately, this happens time and again and it is not an ethical way to do business.

If you are interested in attending the Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company conference visit our conference page, view our speaker list, or get more details. All executives/owners of direct selling companies are welcome to attend. Call 800-231-2162 to register.

Our next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference takes place February 25 & 26, 2016 in Las Vegas. View our conference flyer and speaker list online. Participate in our Innovation Campaign for your chance to receive TWO FREE TICKETS to attend our next conference.

If you’re reading this blog post and the conference dates above have passed, check our website for the current conference dates.

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There are two issues that have surfaced in recent years: 1) social networking, and 2) frequent migration of distributors between companies. With social networking concerns, companies have had to decide on positive protocol for consultants who socialize through technology. In terms of the migration of consultants, companies have often found themselves constantly revisiting policy that both protect the livelihood of all its distributors while also protecting the interest of the company. These issues are constantly under review. Most companies continue to revisit these issues multiple times.

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This Video Explains Which Statement is True: Celebrity Endorsements Improve Marketing or Celebrity Endorsements are a Double-Edged Sword.

In the conventional advertising world, celebrity endorsement is very effective. Among the factors for effectiveness includes the fame of the celebrity, the connection with the product or service, whether or not the celebrity is a user and whether or not the statements of the celebrity appear as truly authentic or merely a “pay for endorsement.”

The use of celebrity endorsement is far less successful in the direct selling industry. In fact, the advertising model for MLM is quite different than conventional advertising. In conventional distribution, such as retail stores, internet or broadcast media, companies pay advertising dollars and endorsement fees to promote the brand. However, in direct selling, the commissions and rewards paid to distributors are effectively the advertising

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