MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

MLM Expert Attorney, Jeff Babener offers ten FTC vs. Vemma litigation bullet points.

On August 17, 2015, the FTC filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arizona, seeking a permanent injunction against Tempe-based Vemma International Holdings, Inc., a long-time direct selling marketer of health-related products. The FTC was successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order, which shut the company and froze its assets. Further proceedings for a hearing on a preliminary and permanent injunction and other relief were set to the future.

Such a scenario has been a common approach for the FTC. The most recent actions resulted in permanent injunctions against BurnLounge and Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. For a summary of the most significant federal actions during the past few decades, please see:

Herbalife: What Short Sellers Missed on the Way to the Press Conference…

Jeffrey Babener (2013)

The primary accusation against Vemma is that its program focused on recruitment rather than sale of product to the ultimate user, thus rendering the program a pyramid scheme and a deceptive practice under FTC legislation. In addition, the FTC has charged that Vemma is deceptive in its earnings representations.

FTC vs. Vemma Litigation Bullet Points:

  1. (a) This case affirms the BurnLounge standard requiring emphasis on sales to ultimate users, which includes nonparticipant retail customers and personal use in reasonable amounts. Primary motivation for distributor purchases should be destination to ultimate users and not to qualify in the plan for compensation.

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We have hosted more than 70 national conferences on starting and running a direct selling, network marketing, MLM or party plan company. We have started and advised many of the leading companies in the industry and we have a “big picture” that may be difficult to find elsewhere. We are big believers in education and our website, www.mlmlegal.com, is hopefully evidence of this, with hundreds of articles, cases, statutes, and scores of videos. We take a particular satisfaction in helping entrepreneurs pursue their dreams and the consequence is often the creation of thousands of jobs and opportunities. And at our conferences, we have started many companies that are today, household names. It has been a pleasure and honor to assemble professionals in these conferences to assist individuals to create “something from nothing.”

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Our conference is not a vendor event. It’s an educational event. Our conference offers you the chance to speak with all of the industry experts at one time and walk away with a wealth of information.

Our conference is not a vendor event. It’s an educational event. Our conference offers you the chance to speak with all of the industry experts at one time and walk away with a wealth of information.

Did you miss the February MLM Startup Conference? In attendance were over 100 people, representing 65 companies from 20 states and five countries (Canada, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States). The companies in attendance represented the entire spectrum of company ages, from startups to established companies. All attended to learn more about the network marketing industry, to grow their companies, to meet experts in the industry, and to educate themselves on the MLM industry.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend February’s conference, don’t fret! Our next conference takes place May 14 and 15, 2015 in Las Vegas. At the conference, you will learn how to structure your compensation plan, build a legal MLM company, recruit key consultants, write a business model, generate leads, find funding, build your website, develop your back-office software, and so much more.

In addition, attendees get the opportunity to chat one-on-one with industry experts representing their specific field (i.e. legal, software, technology, recruiting, etc.). You choose who you’d like to spend valuable one-on-one time with and they will answer the questions you have that are specific to you and your company.

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A number of states have multilevel distribution statutes that require registration. States such as Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Montana require MLM registration. Other states with MLM statutes, such as Texas, Washington, Idaho, Indiana, South Dakota, etc., do not require actual registration.

No state approves MLMs and there are no advisory opinions to be sought in the U.S. on MLM. I.e. there is no approving of MLMs in all 50 states.

In regards to registering as “doing business,” states generally do not regard selling through independent sales representatives as “doing business,” requiring registration to do business. MLM companies resist this classification, which is

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This blog post is the companion post to the video Choosing the Right Product for Your MLM Company. The following is the transcript of MLM Attorney Jeff Babener’s own words:

Hi, I’m Jeff Babener of MLMLegal.com, and I’d like to talk to you today about how to get your product right the first time.

If your business is the machine and your software runs the machine then your product or service is, as the French would say, your reason for existence. In looking back on the history of the direct selling industry, a chicken and egg analysis makes it difficult to determine whether the business opportunity or product was the essential reason for commencement of the business. There are instances of both being true. The founders of Avon, Mary Kay, and Home Interiors came from successful experiences in marketing other products. They found a product suitable for their marketing talents. On the other hand, the founders of Nikken, Amazon Herbs, and Shaklee had a passion for bringing uniquely-new products to the world and direct selling became the best vehicle.

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Expert MLM Attorney, Jeff Babener, discusses how companies should handle discussions about compliance with their distributors. It is important for direct selling companies to be clear about what claims/statements distributors, consultants, members, representatives, etc. can and cannot claim about their earnings and products.

Interviewer: What I want to do now, Jeff, I want to turn our attention to compliance. Because this is an important key issue for any company, for any business owner, for any consultant or distributor, to know that their business is compliant. What would you say are, in your mind, the top issues regarding compliance that someone needs to be adhering to in order to make sure that they themselves are being compliant in the marketplace?

Jeff Babener: Okay. Well, maybe we ought to talk about this issue from the perspective of the company and from the perspective of the distributor. But in fact they’re one and the same. We have two goals: one is to help make them successful, and secondly, to help keep them in business. We’ve represented a lot of the leading direct selling companies. We’ve helped to start a lot of MLM companies.

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The question below is taken from one of Mr. Babener’s client’s distributors’ Q&A pamphlets:

Q: My friends and relatives often ask me if direct selling/MLM/network marketing is a “real business”… I would like to give them something meaningful to consider … your take?

A: People have always asked that question… and it is a fair question. Keep in mind we have nearly 16 million people in the United States selling consumer products and services in the range of $30 billion and more than 90 million people around the world doing this with sales exceeding $150 billion. This activity penetrates the fabric of our society. Earlier statistics, presented by the Direct Selling Association, have indicated that, perhaps, one in ten households have somebody who is doing this part-time.

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