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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Your cost of goods is calculated as your acquisition or manufacturing cost. The more frequent question we come across relates to pricing. Most MLM experts agree that you must have adequate margins to pay commissions and to make a profit. Different products and services carry different profit margins. In addition, smaller margins may be satisfactory with high-priced products because there is still room for profit. Most MLM companies are likely to pay total commissions equal to between 30 and 45 percent of the price sold to distributors for resale, or prices for which consumers buy directly from the company. A typical company will try to achieve a minimum 5-7 times markup to allow for commissions, overhead and profit. Typical markup for resale by distributors is 25% of their purchase price. A good place to visit this issue is at the MLM Startup Conference, offered by www.mlmlegal.com, where experts discuss margins, pricing, profit, proformas, and a whole lot more.

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Your success in network marketing is dependent on many factors. Deciding on which direct selling company you want to join is just the beginning of the process. Of equal importance, you must be open to new ideas and company developments in order to achieve success in the multi-level marketing (MLM) industry.

Here is a brief list of what it takes in order to achieve success in the network marketing industry:

1) Sell a Product that You Enjoy

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The term “pay to play” is actually a negative term in the direct selling and MLM field. It is used to reference a program which encourages independent distributors to make purchases to qualify for commissions and rank advancement. Obviously, personal use is not unusual in the direct selling industry. However, programs in which distributors are driven to purchase product or service, more by the desire to qualify than by a genuine desire to use the product for personal use, are sometimes referred to as dominated by “pay to play” and this may suggest that the product or service does not stand on its own in the marketplace.

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Jeffrey Babener’s – Editor of MLMLegal.com and MLMAttorney.comYoutube channel has surpassed 80,000 views! As the leading MLM industry expert, Jeff Babener has launched over 80 educational and informational videos for MLM, network marketing, direct selling, party plan executives and distributors (consultants, representatives, members, etc.). The videos cover topics from pyramid schemes to recruiting, to MLM success to finding the right product, to legal opinion to compensation plans, etc.

The various network marketing topics discussed on Mr. Babener’s Youtube channel are vast and highly educational. For years he has been compiling educational videos on the direct selling industry as a service to MLM company owners and distributors. Do you have a question about the network marketing industry? Attorney Babener answers your MLM legal questions! Click on the links below to watch his videos!

Do You Ever Wonder What a Real MLM Trial Is Like? Watch one for yourself!

http://mlmlegal.com/trialvideo.html

Executive Interview Forum Questions and Answers (Q&A) NEW!

Executive Interview by the DSWA – “Legal Hotspots for Direct Selling Companies” with Jeff Babener NEW!

Attorney Jeff Babener, Discusses Various Topics in a MLM Compliance Training Session NEW!

Earnings Claims and Consumer Protection Laws

Interviews with Expert MLM Attorney, Jeffrey Babener

Short Course on Network Marketing: Q&A with Jeffrey Babener on Pyramid Schemes NEW!
The Difference between MLM Earnings Calculators and Earnings Claims
From a Legal Perspective: The Difference between a Pyramid Scheme and Legitimate MLM
Compliance Guidelines for Direct Selling Companies and Network Marketers

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The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws.

The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws.

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 United States Postal Service (USPS) examined numbers of levels to make a determination of 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. For the past 25 years, little recruitment activity is conducted by U.S. mail and it has been a long time since the U.S. Postal Service has expressed a serious interest in this subject. The issue of levels has not been the focus of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or state attorneys general in the enforcement of pyramid laws. Instead, the focus for the last two decades has been on the whether or not product/service

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MLMLegal.com Launches the Innovation Campaign for the October 23rd & 24th, 2014 MLM Startup Conference!

 

Fill out the short survey here to receive two free tickets (worth $345.00!) to the next MLM Startup Conference in Las Vegas!**

For over 27 years MLMLegal.com and Babener & Associates

Fill out our Innovation Campaign form to receive your two free tickets today!

Fill out our Innovation Campaign form to receive your two free tickets today!

has hosted the most prestigious MLM conference for executives of startup and existing direct selling companies. In celebration of our 69th conference, we are offering two complimentary tickets* – worth $345.00! – to attend the esteemed event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In our ongoing effort to offer the absolute best network marketing conference available, we invite you to participate in our October 23 & 24, 2014 Innovation Campaign. To receive your two free tickets, fill out our Innovation Campaign form on our Innovation Campaign page.

We invite the input, ideas and innovation from the very MLM company owners who are in the startup and launch phases of their companies. We strive to offer the best conference in the United States. MLMLegal.com always covers current issues and events at all of our conferences, but this time it is different! We want your input in the Innovation Campaign!

Are you an owner or executive of a startup of existing direct selling company? Do you want to attend the 69th Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference for FREE?! Fill out our short survey below! Share with us your experience as a network marketing entrepreneur!

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In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor.

In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor.

Multilevel marketing companies are built on the mentorship model where top-tier salespeople recruit salespeople below them to sell products and services. The top-tiered salesperson makes a commission on the products and services that they sell, as well as on the sales of those in their downline. This model encourages recruiting of new salespeople, while also allowing new recruits to have a mentor who will answer questions and provide examples of success.

In everyday life, roughly nine out of ten successful people had a mentor. Whereas, those who don’t have strong mentors in network marketing are those whom are more likely to fail or quit. Therefore, when it comes to choosing a sponsor/mentor, the best thing to do is to look for one that is seasoned, successful and willing to provide the critical network marketing mentorship that you need to be successful. And when it comes time for you to sponsor and mentor, be sure to train your recruits in the successful ways that you’ve been taught. Their success equates to your success.

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A Vice President of Marketing should have a demonstrated record of building, managing, and sustaining network marketing sales organizations.

The two leading causes of MLM company failure are lack of capital and the inability to recruit. In fact, your need for capital is in inverse proportion to your ability to recruit. Many of the leading direct selling companies have been founded by individuals with long track records of building downline sales organizations. If you possess that talent, along with good product or service, you are well on your way. However, if you don’t possess such capabilities, it may be necessary to hire such talent, often in the form of a Vice President of Marketing.

A Vice President of Marketing should have a demonstrated record of building, managing, and sustaining network marketing sales organizations. You don’t just want a hand holder. You want an individual who has the capability of locating founding distributors and working with them to build a broad-based sales

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Mandated kits are typically in the $50-$100 range.

Frontloading generally refers to a process in which a MLM company, or a sponsoring consultant, encourages a new consultant to purchase far more than is commercially reasonable under the circumstances. Often the “push” is explained to the recruit as necessary to qualify in the compensation plan. This is an unacceptable practice is often one indicia of a pyramid scheme.

On the other hand, virtually all regulatory agencies recognize that purchase of an “at cost” sales kit is an acceptable practice in the mainstream of leading direct selling companies. Such mandated kits are typically in the $50-$100 range. They generally entail “hard copy” or online supply of sales and marketing materials as well as ongoing, updated sales and marketing materials for one year. Typically the mandated sales kit does not include product and generally a company offers an optional deluxe kit that may include product. Such an optional kit, which is often referred to as a “fast start” kit, may contain several hundred dollars of product. This is not unusual. Although the same regulatory standards on upfront, mandated purchases are applicable to party plan companies as they are to other companies; it is not unusual to see party plan companies mandate a beginning starter kit that contains a wide array of products, with a price tag several hundred dollars. Regulatory agencies are very liberal in their view of such mandated purchases in party plan companies because party plan companies are so overwhelmingly retail-oriented and the movement of product to retail customers is the norm, and not the exception.

MLMLegal.com has launched the Innovation Campaign for its February 2014 MLM Startup Conference. Read how to get your two free tickets by clicking HERE!

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