|Received:||7/17/2006 10:20:36 AM|
|Subject:||Business Opportunity Rule|
|Title:||Notice of Proposed Rulemaking|
|CFR Citation:||16 CFR Part 437|
Comments:Re: Title: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Subject Category: Business Opportunity Rule CFR Citation: 16 CFR Part 437 Our MLM distributorship has been a wonderful addition to our life. Not only have we consistently made money, but we've had exposure to ideas, concepts, people and places that we would never have had otherwise. Is it an exercise in learning? For someone from the corporate world, you bet! But it's changed my thinking on a lot of things, for my family's betterment, and, I believe, the world's. So for us, the current system has worked well enough (though it took 3 bad ones before finding a keeper!) The goals of the proposed legislation are well-intended. Based on an industry with an unfortunate history of problems, many of these changes are necessary to some extent. Franchise vs Business Opportunity The legal scope and financial commitments associated with franchises are dramatically different from those for business opportunities, yet the legislation proposes that many of the same requirements apply to both. Business Opportunity vs MLM The proposal text seems to make this distinction, saying that MLM are not the main problem, while apparently intending to apply the same requirements to both. The proposed legislation goes too far in an MLM world. Level Playing Field The opportunity is the same for everyone. We all start at zero, with the right, through our own level of effort, to grow our businesses, or not. Earnings Claims vs Compensation Plan As part of sharing our business plan, we go over the Compensation Plan. Anyone considering a business wants to know the potential, and how the plan works. We explain the income, and what's required in order to achieve it. Is this considered an Earnings Claim? The information is standardized so all can easily present the same consistent information. We share the average annual income number, so people understand that not everyone achieves the maximum possible results. If people aren't using standardized income disclosures, they should be - and they should apply to all direct sellers (and business opportunities). Rather than a seven-day waiting period before registration, provide a reasonable cancellation policy. This provides the same protections, while addressing the logistical issues of time and place that the waiting period creates. Registrant references, at least for MLM, where our businesses respect lines of sponsorship, are a real problem. As an independent business owner, you are responsible for your own efforts, and also your own success based on those efforts. Contacting references in a line of sponsorship would not only create crosslining situations, but would create unnecessary distractions, and potential avenues for business sabotage, putting entire businesses at risk through the back door. I don't see Microsoft publishing its list of shareholders. That's essentially what you're asking us to do. It's unnecessary, and it's dangerous to existing businesses. We have training sessions available, even before registering, where prospects can meet and talk to other business owners. They can get a flavor for the heart of what, why, and how we do what we do. Then they can 1) register, or 2) take advantage of our reasonable cancellation policy if there's something they don't like. Discussing litigation/arbitration is unnecessary, and would unnecessarily distract business owners from building their businesses. These are private matters, often not even related to the opportunity/MLM. Lastly, financial records, like someone's income, should not be disclosed to prospects. We are Independent Business Owners, and our income aspirations and achievements will differ from those of our prospects. The compensation plan provides a tool to evaluate the financial end of the business - not financial records, which are only an indication of someone else's results that will not accurately represent their results one way or the other.