Business Opportunities & Multilevel Marketing

If you are looking for a job or an opportunity to make some extra cash, you may decide to start a home-based business. The Internet and newspapers overflow with ads for envelope stuffers, title tracers, eBay sellers and vending machine operators. Idaho also is home to some of the world’s largest and most successful multilevel marketing companies.

Before you commit yourself to a business opportunity or sign a contract with a multilevel marketing company, you should do your research. The information on this page will help you make better decisions about your future.

Starting a Business

Bogus Business Opportunities. If you are thinking about buying a business, you need to know about the Federal Trade Commission’s Business Opportunity Rule and how it protects you from deceptive sellers.

Internet Businesses. Internet startups may promise big bucks fast. Don’t believe a seller who claims you will make a lot of money working only a few hours from home.

Buying a Franchise. Franchises are major investments. Before you buy one, take a hard look at your abilities and goals to make sure they’re a good match with the business.

Multilevel or Network Marketing

Multilevel or network marketing companies offer individual distributorships. As an independent distributor you sell the company’s products directly to the public, and you earn commissions for your sales. Typically, you also earn commissions from the sales of those you recruit as distributors.

Multilevel marketing programs are sometimes confused with pyramid schemes. A multilevel marketing program is one that offers a legitimate product for sale and that does not pay commissions solely for new recruitments. An illegal pyramid scheme is sustained—albeit temporarily—through payments from new members. No legitimate product sales are involved.

If you are considering a distributorship, familiarize yourself with the company and its products. Make sure a market exists for the products you will be selling. Before you sign any documents, consider having an attorney review them

The Federal Trade Commission has additional information about multilevel marketing companies and how to distinguish them from unlawful pyramid schemes.