Hi. I’m Jeff Babener, Chair of the Law Firm of Babener & Associates. Since I lecture and publish extensively, you have likely already visited our website: www.mlmlegal.com, which is one of the most frequently-visited websites on network marketing and one which we hope you find extremely helpful in starting your MLM or direct selling company. For the past 25 years, our law office has served as a key legal and business advisor to major companies like Avon, Shaklee, New Skin, ACM, Prepaid Legal, Longaberger, and Tupperware.
In fact, we’ve been right there at the beginning and actively involved in the creation of companies like Nikken, Excel, USANA, Melaleuca, and Legacy.
In addition, we have been actively involved in providing resources and support to companies like Quixtar, Creative Memories, and Mannatech. We represent many members of the DSA, and in fact, we even incorporated the MLMIA and served as their general counsel.
Although we are a full-service firm for MLM companies, we are direct selling specialists. We limit our clients strictly to MLM, direct sales, network marketing, and party planning companies. Much of our work is referred to us by small and large corporate law firms throughout the U.S. and other countries. We are an ultra-niche law firm and we have chosen to focus like a laser strictly on advising direct selling companies.
Although we have involvement with some well-established companies, which I’ve explained, our specialty is MLM startup.
Actually, all of the companies we helped to establish started with me on one side of a conference table and one of the individual founders – with high hopes – on the other. It may have been at our office. It may have been at one of the approximately 60 national conferences we have sponsored over the last two decades, entitled The Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference. Or, it might have been after hearing me lecture at the University of Texas, the University of Illinois, or the University of Houston.
In the beginning, it was me sitting across the table from Frank VanderSloot of Melaleuca, or Tom Watanabe of Nikken, or Steve Smith and Kenny Troutt of Excel.
And, we are long term players. We brought Nikken to the U.S. from Fukuoka, Japan in 1990 and we have served as general counsel and their most trusted business advisor for 20 years, growing to represent the company in more than 40 countries.
Twenty years after Excel was sold to Wall Street for $1 billion, Steve Smith came back to us and said, “Jeff, let’s do this all over again. Let’s start another.” And we did.
Entrepreneurs come to us because we are far more than a law firm to them. We know this business. In fact, we probably know the business better than most of our clients. Over time, even though we are their lawyers, we tend to become their most trusted business advisors and member of their business team (via martin). And, usually more than 50% of our discussions are about successful operations and growth of their network marketing businesses, as opposed to mere legal issues.
As a courtesy, we often serve as their Keynote Speaker in support of our clients at major conventions. And, we have done so from Los Angeles to Nashville to Honolulu, and around the world, from Russia to China to Thailand. Our clients have used our credibility and reputation as a key asset in their growth.
We play an integral role on the legal and business front. For the startup company, we create all the documentation, agreements, policies, form language, etc. More importantly, we are intimately involved in the structure of the marketing program and the development of the compensation plan.
Our services involve trademarks, vendor agreements, labeling, FDA, sales tax; key relationships with founding distributors, medical or celebrity endorsements; administration of the distributor sales force in areas such as advertising, discipline, and communication; MLM registrations, regulatory compliance with the FTC, FDA, MLM statutes, postal, attorney general, and state consumer protection legislation.
In fact, both at the startup level and on an ongoing basis, not one piece of marketing material goes out that we don’t review and offer input. That includes all web and HTML copy, scripting, audio and video scripting, PowerPoint presentations, all hard copy and printed materials, web communication, and every other type of media.
Anything that will make its way to distributors, prospects, customers, and the public we’re involved in, and when we have created a great model, we help take our clients into international markets and around the world.
Everything we do in startup and long-term representation is driven by our number one goal, helping our clients be successful and stay in business. Our clients have our office number, home numbers, cell phone numbers, and private email addresses.
Unless we’re on a raft in a river canyon, we try to make ourselves always available. Expect to talk to us whether it is nighttime, or a weekend, or whether we are in Tokyo or Moscow or Beijing. As mentioned, we are long term members of a business team. We don’t know the meaning of “short term” relationships. We are looking for companies that intend to be successful and we intend to help make them successful.
If an MLM startup company is looking for this type of support then Babener & Associates is the right team partner for them. Please visit us at www.mlmlegal.com or call us at 503-226-6600.
Or, visit these links for more information:
MLMLegal on Google+ Blog Post
MLM Legal Cases Page – New Page Blog Post
Make sure to visit our blogs for the latest information on the direct selling industry: MLMLegal Blog Home and MLM Attorney Blog Home. HINT: Chose a category to narrow your search for discussion topics!
Find us on our social networks:
And, as always, visit MLMLegal.com, the best MLM resource on the web.The next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference is quickly approaching! On February 21st and 22nd, 2013 we are hosting the MLM Conference for the 25th year! This is now our 63nd annual conference (held almost consistently three times per year over the last 24 years). All executives/owners of MLM, direct selling, network marking, and party plan companies are welcome to attend. This is the original MLM Startup Conference, hosted and perfected by direct selling industry expert, MLM Attorney Jeff Babener. Call 503-226-6600 or 800-231-2162 to register. (Can’t make this event? Keep an eye out for our May and October conferences as well.)