MLM Consultant ... MLM Consulting
FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule:
July 11, 2006
Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex
RE: Business Opportunity Rule, R511993
Position Statement of Babener and Associates on FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule, R551993
Our law firm, Babener and Associates, is writing to support comments and submissions of the DSA (Direct Selling Association) and MLMIA (Multilevel Marketing International Association) regarding the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule, R551993. We fully support the FTC in its laudatory consumer protection objective to challenge fraudulent and deceptive business practices, but, along with other industry professionals, we believe that the proposed rule will not further its objective and will instead pose an undue hardship to the businesses of 14 million direct sellers whose sales revenue approaches $30 billion per year.
Profile of Firm Providing Comment:
For almost 25 years, this firm has served as legal advisor to startup, emerging and mature direct selling companies headquartered throughout the U.S. and abroad. The firm has served as legal counsel to many members of the DSA and MLMIA and, over the years, its legal advice has been sought out by such leading direct selling companies as Avon, Shaklee, NuSkin, Nikken, Melaleuca, Longaberger, Tupperware, Excel Communications, ACN, USANA, Prepaid Legal, Discovery Toys, etc. We have served on the DSA Lawyer’s Council and Government Relations Committee and as a supplier member of the DSA, and we have served on the board of directors and as general counsel to the MLMIA. We have published extensively on the subject of direct selling and lectured at industry conferences and universities such as the University of Texas and University of Illinois. We have served as trial lawyer in many cases throughout the U.S. on the subject of direct selling. The firm posts an educational website on direct selling, www.mlmlegal.com. We are frequently called upon by the media as an expert on the subject of direct selling, we have served on conference panels with regulatory officials and we are one of a handful of law firms in the U.S. that specialize in the area of direct selling.
A Brief Critique of the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule:
In that detailed analysis and comment will be provided by industry trade associations such as the DSA and MLMIA, as well as many leading companies in the industry, and, in that our firm has been an active participant in the dialog leading to those filings, we will not revisit, in detail, the arguments and analysis here. Certain aspects of the proposed rule are of particular concern to the direct selling industry, and worthy of repeating here:
The FTC and the direct selling industry are on the same wavelength in their goal of furthering consumer protection. However, virtually every constituency in the direct selling industry, companies, distributors, industry experts and professionals, believe that the FTC’s Proposed Business Opportunity Rule dramatically misses the mark in achieving this goal, is not premised on an informed view of the industry and issues surrounding it, does not further consumer protection against "frauds and cheats," unintentionally casts an overly broad net that severely hampers the ability of legitimate businesses to operate and, if implemented, will have the result of crippling a major channel of distribution in the U.S. as well as the livelihoods of 14 million Americans that look to direct selling to help support their families.
Jeffrey A. Babener
End of Babener and Associates and MLMLegal.Com formal comments on FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule
Look for ongoing updates on the status of the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule at MLMLegal.com. Copyright Jeffrey Babener Jeffrey Babener
On any given day you can catch Jeffrey Babener, editor of www.mlmlegal.com, lecturing on Network Marketing at the University of Texas or the University of Illinois, addressing thousands of distributors in Los Angeles, Bangkok, Tokyo and Russia, or writing a new book on Network Marketing, an article for Entrepreneur Magazine or a chapter for a University textbook. Over two decades he has served as marketing and legal advisor to some of the world's largest direct selling companies, the likes of Avon, Nikken, Shaklee, Tupperware, Prepaid Legal, Longaberger, Melaleuca, Discovery Toys, Usana, Amazon Herb, NuSkin, Cell Tech, Sunrider…. and he has provided counsel to the most successful telecom network marketing companies...Excel, ACN, World Connect, ITI, Acceris, AOL Select and Network 2000. An active spokesperson for the industry, he has assisted in new legislation and served on the Lawyer's Council, Government Relations Committee and Internet Task Force of the Direct Selling Association (DSA) as well as serving as General Counsel for the Multilevel Marketing International Association. He is an MLM attorney supplier member of the DSA and has served as legal counsel and MLM consultant on MLM law issues for many DSA companies. He is author of multiple books, including, Network Marketing: What You Should Know, Network Marketer's Guide To Success, Tax Guide for MLM/Direct Sellers, Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company, The MLM Corporate Handbook and Window of Opportunity. He is author of countless articles on network marketing, many of which can be found at www.mlmlegal.com where he is the editor. You will see his articles and interviews in such publications as Money, Atlantic Monthly, Success, Entrepreneur, Business Startups, Home Office Computing, Inc., Money Makers Monthly, etc. He has been chairman of numerous industry conference series, including, Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company, The MLM Entrepreneur Series and The MLM Masters series. He has served as the close advisor to scores of MLM Companies and their distributors, comprising millions of distributors and billions of dollars in sales. Mr. Babener is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, where he served as editor of the USC Law Review. After an appointment to be an advisor law clerk to a U.S. Federal Judge, he went on to become a member of the California and Oregon State Bar, where he has also served as chairman of the Oregon State Bar Committee on Judicial Administration. He has exclusively practiced in the area of direct selling for over 20 years. A Regulatory Update for MLM,Direct Selling, Network Marketing, Direct Sales, Party Plan Independent Distributors and Companies
|Jeffrey A. Babener
Babener & Associates
121 SW Morrison, Suite 1020
Portland, OR 97204
|Jeffrey A. Babener, the principal attorney in the Portland, Oregon law firm of Babener & Associates, represents many of the leading direct selling companies in the United States and abroad.|
|Main Library || MLM Legal || Babener & Associates || MLM Articles || Power Index|