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FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule:
MLMIA Speaks Out

Jeffrey Babener, Babener and Associates, © 2006

The MLMIA, Multilevel Marketing International Association, has urged members of the MLM, Direct Sales, Direct Selling, Network Marketing and Party Plan industry to oppose an initiative of the FTC in its draft of the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule. The MLMIA,, is a 20 years old trade association based in Orange County , California. Members of the organization include MLM companies, MLM distributors and MLM industry support businesses and professionals.   The MLMIA provides industry education and promotes legislation and policies that support the industry.   It is a promoter of consumer rights and ethical practices of industry members.

  In April 2006, the FTC released a sweeping proposed change in its FTC Business Opportunity Rule. The proposal was immediately and strongly criticized by representatives of and experts in the MLM, Direct Sales, Direct Selling, Network Marketing and Party Plan industry. The process to a completed Rule is expected to last 18 months to 3 years. For extensive analysis, text of the actual FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule and ongoing updates, please visit .

MLMIA Position Statement on FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule

The MLMIA has engaged in a fund raising drive to support filing of position statements and analysis with the FTC concerning the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule. The MLMIA announced its engagement of a Washington D.C. based law firm, led by Jonothan Emord, to file its formal comments on the proposed rule. Support was urged to address the tremendous hardship that would fall upon an industry with approximately 14 million earners in the U.S. alone. Below is the actual text of the "call to action" statement issued by the MLMIA on the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule.

MLMIA Call to Action Statement:

Thank you to all those who made a generous donation to the MLMIA Legal Fund these past two weeks. A separate bank account has been established for money collected. The Association plans to fund with these monies, initial comments, rebuttal comments, and if enough funds are donated, a marketing and economic survey to be filed with the FTC.

The MLMIA is committed to doing the best we can to support our Network Marketing Industry. The new FTC Business Opportunity Ruling will be a substantial battle. Without the entire industries continued support the MLMIA will not be able to successfully complete the task at hand. Our position with the FTC is one of believing that the current ruling is sufficient. No additional ruling is necessary. It is generally thought that the FTC will adopt a conciliatory form of the ruling. If so, we will continue the fight to have the ruling appealed and rescinded. Win or Lose, the Association will not stand by idly, so we have retained the BEST

Ed Jarrin, MLMIA President, has asked several Industry members for donations for the legal fund The MLMIA will, to the extent of its monetary resources, stand by Jonathan in this fight and your support will be appreciated in writing to the FTC with your comments. Any financial support given to the MLMIA for this endeavor will be passed on anonymously to Mr. Emord through our Legal Fund.

The MLMIA, through its web site and newsletter, will keep the entire industry up to date regarding the current status of the FTC ruling and our opposition to it.

Thanks again for your faithful support!

Del Hickman, Executive Director

End of MLMIA Position Statement


Please click here to download and read the complete text in PDF format of the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule


Look for ongoing updates on the status of the FTC Proposed Business Opportunity Rule at .   Copyright Jeffrey Babener  

On any given day you can catch Jeffrey Babener, editor of , 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 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.

For scores of other informative articles on MLM Software, MLM Consulting, Direct Sales, Direct Selling, Network Marketing, Party Planing, MLM Consulting and many more, visit's Law Library

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