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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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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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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The MLM industry has, during the last 20 years, developed positive working relationships with regulatory agencies such as attorneys general and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). There was a time, however, back in the 1970s, when the FTC challenged the legitimacy of the direct selling industry as being a pyramid scheme. They accused Amway of operating illegally and Amway prevailed in a very famous 1979 case [below] where it was held that the network marketing industry is a legitimate business model and the business opportunity is not a pyramid scheme.

No legal ruling has been more impactful on the direct sales industry than The Landmark Amway Case.

Afterwards, regulatory agencies and the industry went quiet until the 1990s when it was questioned whether or not product-using consultants were a legitimate end-destination for products or whether consultants were simply retail customers. There has been an ongoing tug of war between the MLM industry and the FTC in terms of determining whether or not personal use should have an impact on a company’s legitimate operations. The industry, with the cooperation of attorneys generals in more than a dozen states, were able to amend legislation in those states to recognize that personal use of product by distributors is a legitimate end-destination, just as if it were a retail sale.

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Have you finally decided to launch the network marketing business of your dreams? Or, have you decided that it’s time to take another look at your current MLM company to see how you can improve, grow and expand your business? Have you finally decided to launch the network marketing business of your dreams? Or, have you decided that it’s time to take another look at your current MLM company to see how you can improve, grow and expand your business?

Babener & Associates/http://www.mlmlegal.com/, with over 30 years in the legal business, offers an excellent and affordable resource for those who are starting or running a direct selling company: The Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference. This seminar offers MLM startup entrepreneurs a place to meet a plethora of network marketing industry experts — all in one place — who will help educate you in the corporate areas that are important to you, such as software, legal, technology, recruiting, raising capital, or designing your compensation plan. Visit our speaker page to learn more about the speakers and the topics that they will be covering.

Attendees will also be in the same room with around 100s of other established and entrepreneurial MLM companies who help to provide encouragement, advice and support.

All attendees are educated about the network marketing industry, how to grow their companies, to are able to meet experts in the industry who will help to coach them on the MLM industry.

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