FTC to Hold Public Workshop on Proposed Business Opportunity Rule Changes

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will hold a day-long public workshop on June 1, 2009 in Washington, DC, to explore proposed changes to the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will examine possible changes to the rule that were outlined in a Revised Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (RNPR) on March 26, 2008.

The workshop will primarily explore issues relating to the effectiveness of a proposed one-page Business Opportunities Disclosure Form that sellers of business opportunities would be required to provide to prospective purchasers. The proposed Disclosure Form is intended to provide prospective purchasers with information they can use to make an informed decision about the potential business opportunity, including information about earnings claims, legal actions, existence of cancellation or refund policies, and references. The workshop also will address general issues raised in comments that have been submitted to the FTC in response to the proposed rulemaking. A more detailed agenda will be published at a later date, before the scheduled workshop.

Business opportunity ventures include vending machine routes, rack display operations, and medical billing ventures. The FTC’s new proposed rule is aimed at protecting consumers from bogus business opportunities while minimizing compliance costs for legitimate businesses.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the FTC’s satellite building conference center, located at 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. All attendees will be required to display a current driver’s license or other form of photo identification for entry.

The Commission will be accepting comments on the topics to be covered at the workshop until June 15, 2009. The FTC staff also invites interested parties to submit requests to be panelists by May 4, 2009. Interested parties should include a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed at the workshop and their complete contact information. Requests to participate filed in an electronic form should be sent to: businessopportunityworkshop@ftc.gov.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e-mail to: cmcglothin@ftc.gov or by calling Carrie McGlothin at 202-326-3388. Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodations needed and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

The Commission vote approving publication of the Federal Register Notice announcing the workshop was 4-0.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(FTC File No. R511993)
(BizOppWorkshop)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Peter Kaplan
Office of Public Affairs

202-326-2334