When we’re engaged by direct selling companies one of the first questions we hear is “Should we go international immediately?” This is an understandable question to ask because the internet has changed the way we do business. Clients who are selling services can offer those services globally in a seamless fashion.

Obviously, more challenges occur if they are selling tangible products because of the required approval process. There are customs issues, tax issues, etc. Our answer to companies, as a general matter, is that they need to consider the cost and expense of international expansion. Some companies will say, “We can’t hold off the sponsoring of distributors around the world.” And, some companies decide they really can’t afford the cost, saying “We’re just going to invite distributors from other countries to come to our website and sign up here in the U.S. We’re not going to deal with the tax issues, compliance issues, etc. We’re going to just try to stay below on the radar.” But is that practical? Practically, if you were to ask us for the right answer, this isn’t the right way to address international expansion since every country – just like the United States – has its own compliance regulations.

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The direct selling industry hasn’t proved to be as vulnerable to a down economy as other industry sectors. Fledgling and startup MLM companies are either flourishing or remaining economically consistent (see our recent blog post on the DSA’s – Direct Selling Association – Annual Growth & Outlook Survey for the latest U.S. direct selling industry statistics). Proof for this can be seen in the latest MLM industry headlines, but also in the growing pending member applications under review by the DSA.

Four new direct selling companies have applied for membership with the Direct Selling Association, announced in a recent DSA press release.

In June, Country Gourmet Home and Origami Owl applied for DSA membership and are under review. They are currently marked as “pending” members of the DSA.

In July, two more companies applied: ArtNest, Inc. and Jamberry Nails. Both are also currently sanctioned as “pending” members of the DSA.

A company must go under extensive review to become a member of the Direct Selling Association. The DSA states the follow requirements for membership:

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