Is Your Business Opportunity Program Legal?

Introduction To Business Opportunity Programs

Business Opportunity Programs have always been very popular with many people. They offer the ordinary person the chance to make money from home without the usual costs of setting up in business

There is usually very little if any stock to buy, no overheads much to speak of, no investment in publicity materials etc – all these services are provided free by the program owners. Typically an online opportunity program will provide participants with banners, text ads, email ads, ezine ads etc – even a full website, all completely free

The only cost involved is a small monthly membership fee – although even this can be avoided until you get used to the program, as many programs will allow you to join for free

Do These Programs Really Work?

The honest answer in brief is – some do: many don’t!!

The first question to consider is whether the program is in fact legal

Many people down through the years, that business opportunity programs have been around, have lost money – sometimes all their life savings. For this reason most governments in western countries have passed laws to outlaw most of the worst kind of these schemes, often referred to as “Ponzi” schemes

However the law is often openly ignored by many of the people running these business opportunity programs. Perhaps they did not take appropriate legal advise before starting the program, perhaps they were unaware that what they were doing was illegal – or maybe they just didn’t care. For some people as long as they are making money, they don’t care that other people are losing money!!

However the critical point to grasp is that “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”, and any one that promotes a trading scheme, as an affiliate, is just as guilty as the people that run the scheme. In general you should always do your homework on the business in question as most of these type of businesses will not survive very long

A Pyramid Matrix

A pyramid matrix simply means an arrangement where the number of people in each level of the pyramid gets bigger the further you go down. Generally the number of members will increase by a set multiplier e.g. you start with 5 people, each of these people refers 5 people, so on the second level or tier there are 25 people, being 5 X 5. As you go down each level of the matrix you multiply the members by 5 each time. So the next level will be 25 X 5 members which is 125

The problem with this arrangement – and the typical one with business opportunities – is that this rate of growth is unsustainable. You would very quickly need one million people and more to sustain this matrix. In fact by the time you got down to the 9th level of this matrix you would need nearly two million people in the scheme – and each of these two million people would each have to find 5 members, which would then push the membership to 10 million!!

The General Legal Rule

For these reasons laws have been introduced to protect the public from such un-viable schemes

The general rule is that it is illegal to encourage someone to pay money in joining or participating in a trading scheme, if the only or main purpose of the scheme is to encourage other people to pay money by way of joining or participating in a trading scheme e.g. you join a scheme and pay a membership fee of $9.99 – you earn this money back when you find 5 other people to pay their membership fee of $9.99

Anything that breaks this rule is almost certainly illegal – you would be well advised – however enticing the scheme sounds – to stay well clear of such arrangements

Many business opportunity programs break this rule because people join as free members and then must “upgrade” their membership in order to participate in the compensation plan. However they receive nothing of substantial or equivalent value to the membership fee being paid. In other words if you pay $9.99 per month and receive free “training”, a “free” website, free “support” via a forum etc – none of these things can be regarded as being of “substantial or equivalent” value

The law regards these schemes as an illegal unregistered lottery, and anyone who promotes such schemes is engaged in an illegal activity – certainly not a legitimate business!

Product Based Opportunities That Have A Network Aspect

The way to make such money type schemes legal, is to always ensure that people are receiving something of value for their membership fee e.g. some real product or service which could be bought by the general public

Product based opportunities are fully legal because people join for free as “distributors” and can sell a range of products and earn a commission, based on the sales they generate. There may be an additional “add-on” network aspect, which may require the payment of a monthly fee. This payment is fine, so long as there is something of value provided for the payment, and so long as making the payment is not compulsory

Because product based opportunities are nearly always legal – providing there is a “join for free” option, then you can always have confidence that such businesses, based on selling a product or range of products, is a viable opportunity and will almost certainly last into the future

What Qualifies As A Product?

You need to be clear what is meant by a product

In general we are talking about a real physical product such as slimming pills, ski jacket, health drink, bedside clock, perfume etc. If the main purpose of the business is to sell the product – even if there is some additional network aspect, then you are generally on firm ground

The Network

We have mentioned the phrase “the network aspect” we need to be clear what is meant by this. We do not mean a standard pyramid matrix. The idea of network marketing is to allow for a system of network distribution – so that each member in the organization sells a small amount of product per month, but altogether this amounts to a much larger total value. However there is no requirement for people to participate in building a network if they do not wish to – they can just sell the products for their standard commission. Such a system will produce far greater group sales than the same number of people just paying a monthly membership fee.

Imagine if I have 100 people in my network all selling just $50 of product a month. That amounts to total sales for the group of $5,000 per month. But if those 100 people just paid a membership fee of $9.99 per month, the total revenue would be only $999. In addition, as each of those 100 people would be receiving a commission cheque for their $50 worth of sales, they would be much more likely to continue with the business, as compared to simply “losing” a membership fee of $9.99 with no commissions for their trouble

Conclusion

Be very careful about business opportunity programs. Product based opportunities work very well via a system of network distribution. However if there is no product of any significance, and you only make money by getting other people to pay a membership fee, then this scheme is very unlikely to pay you any money ever. With a product based opportunity you can sell real products and collect a trade commission even as a free member. As a result the business is viable and a network can be built up into a significant monthly income

Prepaid Legal Review – Learn What Your Upline Doesn’t Know and Can’t Teach You

Let’s review Prepaid Legal. They are a company, that for a monthly fee, one obtains a membership which provides legal counsel whenever necessary. Prepaid was founded in 1969 by Harland Stonecipher. Though it did not begin as an MLM company, it was recognized as such by the 1980s. By the late 90s, at prepaid Legal was considered the 33rd fastest-growing company on the NYSE.Prepaid is also the listed on Forbes 200 best small companies list.

So how does Prepaid Legal work? For around $300 per year, a customer purchases on annual membership. $17 and $26 monthly plans are available. These plans make available to you legal advice on everything from writing wills, buying homes or just be familiar with your basic legal rights. There are more than 60,000 legal forms on the website and members can utilize. Essentially, members use the phone number on their membership card to contact a lawyer that specializes in the area they need help in.Plans vary by state.

So why would anyone want to use Prepaid Legal services? It’s probably easier than panning through the phonebook looking for a lawyer’s number that you need. The company points out that only the wealthiest 10% of people use legal services on a regular basis, and since the rest of us don’t, we might be at a disadvantage.Is the service necessary?
My opinion is not important, since over 1 million people have decided is necessary.

If you want to have a Prepaid Legal business, there is little more that needs to be mentioned. Apparently, the only way you can join, is by filling out an application for enrollment through their website. It costs $49 to start up a business and this includes materials, training, support, Prepaid Marketing Services, marketing supplies and Online Associate Services. Prepaid Legal is very excited about their timing in this industry. They state they are at 2/10 of 1% of growth potential and don’t anticipate critical mass hitting until 2%. Critical Mass is when a company reaches a point where they grow tremendously in a short amount of time. In my opinion, a good time to join a company is before they hit critical mass.

I found a compensation plan a bit of a challenge to comprehend. Prepaid Legal Associates are paid in three different ways. The first way to get paid is by getting commissions on every membership to Prepaid Legal that you sell. The second way to get paid is when you sign-up other people into the business and receive commissions for that. The final way to get paid is via residual income on your team’s success. The part that confused me was that they pay on five different levels according to how many memberships you sell per month. Also, they pay you an advance commission for the annual memberships they sell. For example, if you sell a Prepaid Legal membership to someone, you get paid a years worth of commission. But, if that person cancels their membership before the year is up I will get what is called a “chargeback”. A chargeback is exactly what it sounds like it is. You have to pay back any commissions earned by member cancels early. I’m not a fan.

Traditionally, when joining a company like this, you’re going to be taught approach every person you’ve ever known and try to get them to either sign on as a member or join your team. Let’s face it folks, this is the hard way of doing things. Wouldn’t you rather talk to people that actually care about joining a network marketing company? Wouldn’t you rather use a pain-free, surefire way to gain success in this industry?

The Legal, Ethical and Moral Problems Associated With Surrogacy

The legal, ethical and moral problems associated with surrogacy

A surrogate motherhood entails carrying and delivering a child (premature delivery is also included) under the contract concluded between a substitute mother and commissioning couples. Normally, a proxy is impregnated by implanting the zygote into her uterus. This zygote is formed in a laboratory using commissioning couple gametes or donor gametes. As the rate of infertility is rising every year, surrogacy is becoming more popular. Couples who are not in a financial status to invest much on this process are traveling to different countries where they can expect the same process at less cost. Surrogacy tourism is becoming more popular in Asian countries such as India. However, the increasing popularity of surrogacy has given rise to many legal, political, moral and ethical problems.

In this article, we are focusing on the rights of married infertile couples who made a contract with the surrogate mother to have a biological baby; ensuring the rights of a baby born to a substitute and the different factors included in a contract made with a substitute. The moral and ethical issues associated with the surrogacy are also considered. Doctors observe the problems associated with the surrogate motherhood in a sensible point of view, adhere to the up-to-date ART technologies and always encourage substitutes to move forward. However, the solicitors also don’t observe any particular ethical problems. According to the lawyers, every person has the rights to use their body and mind to commit action in accordance with his consciousness and will.

Commissioning couples seeking surrogacy to have a biological baby should face some legal problem in spite of considering this process as legal. As there is no law governing surrogacy in many states, the commissioning couples often face many obstacles while owning their biological baby. In some cases, when the substitute rejects to hand over the baby, the intended parents often face trouble. According to some state laws, the substitute has the right to keep the baby after delivery, as a result, the infertile married couples who gave their consent for an embryo transfer and made contract with the surrogate to carry their child, will be dishonored. Undoubtedly, at this circumstance either the deceived couples ask reimbursement or their baby. However, women who wish to become surrogate mother often face financial hardship; it will become hard for them dishonor the contract. Such haziness makes it impossible for the proxies to dishonor the laws.

Most of the state laws prefer to show a legal essence in a contract made between commissioning couple and surrogate mother. Some solicitors also argue that ensuring rights of children born to substitutes is also important. In some states, the experienced solicitors are working constantly to establish a strong surrogacy laws in order to give legal rights to the infertile married couples, surrogate mother who bear child upon agreement made with the intended parents and the rights of children born to the surrogate mothers. Once the law becomes strong and controversies related to the social and religious ethics will become normal, both parties can enjoy their journey without any complications and obstacles.