There are ways to make sure that a direct selling company operates as a legal and ethical business. Firstly, contact the industry association websites, such as the Direct Selling Association (DSA), to see if the company is a member and if they abide by the DSA’s Code of Ethics.
Secondly, if you’re considering becoming a part of a startup network marketing company, learn how to recognize some red flags. Is the company offering a tangible product or service? Make sure that the company offers a product or service, and not something intangible, such as prayers or wishes. Does the company ask for an unreasonably-high investment to join? Startup kits average anywhere from $50-$150. If a company is asking for $500 for their startup kit, perhaps you should begin asking more questions. This alone is not a sign of a company operating illegally, but can be a sign to look for additional clues for questionable practices. Does the company focus its mission on primarily recruiting new members and not focus on the sale of product (or service) to the end consumer? A legally-operated MLM company will have a primary focus of selling products (or services) to the consumer, not just in recruiting new consultants.
Be sure to investigate any opportunity that you are considering joining and do your own due diligence. And, if you are starting your own network marketing company, it would be wise of you to hire a credible MLM attorney who specializes in direct selling law who can help you determine if your company is legal.
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