What Makes a Company a MLM?

    Thomas Ritter is an associate attorney at Thompson Burton PLLC. His practice area focuses primarily on business transactions, direct selling law, and cybersecurity law. He assists a variety of businesses, from well-established companies to early stage start-ups.

    I recently fielded a phone call from a business owner who asked me the following question: Does my business model qualify as a multi-level marketing company? It’s a good question whose answer invokes a variety of possible legal implications. THE MLM LEXICON With no single authority providing some sort of precedential definition of “MLM,” the best way of […]

    (ARTICLE FEATURED IN SEEKING ALPHA) Battle Over BurnLounge: Both sides claim victory

      Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

      Below is an excerpt from my article about the Ninth Circuit opinion on BurnLounge.  The article can be read in full over at Seeking Alpha.  It’s an important subject.  Click here to read it. Summary The Court successfully threaded the needle on the issue of “ultimate users,” essentially creating two classes of participants. The Court provided […]

      Update on the Fortune Hi Tech Case – FTC Passes on Scalpel, Goes for Sledgehammer

        Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

        As a refresher, in early February of 2013, the FTC got an injunction issued against Fortune Hi Tech Marketing. The summary of the lawsuit can be found here: FTC vs. Fortune Hi Tech. FTC’s Strategy Since the lawsuit was filed, I’ve had a lot of time to study the FTC’s arguments against FHTM. In particular, […]

        MLM Detractor Blatantly Mischaracterizes the Law: Ignores Facts and Precedence

          Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

          Retired Wisconsin litigator, Bruce Craig, wrote an article featured on Seeking Alpha titled, “An Investor’s Guide to Identifying Pyramid Schemes.” While the title certainly implies a hint of objectivity, it’s simply false advertising . In a nutshell, the author holds on to his long-standing, 30+ year view that all MLMs are pyramids. Unfortunately, Craig willfully […]

          ACES Radio Live With Troy Dooly and Jim Gillhouse

            Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

            When both Troy Dooly and Jim Gillhouse call me to be a guest on their program, I jump every single time. They ask great questions and lead fantastic conversations on their program. During this episode, we talk about the troubling language in the final BurnLounge order. Feel free to listen and share your thoughts below.  Already after this […]

            Self Deception: a cancer holding the MLM industry back

              Kevin Thompson is an MLM attorney, proud husband, father of four and a founding member of Thompson Burton PLLC. Named as one of the top 25 most influential people in direct sales, Kevin Thompson has extensive experience to help entrepreneurs launch their businesses on secure legal footing. Recently featured on Bloomberg TV and several national publications, Thompson is a thought-leader in the industry.

              It’s a strong title, I know.  But it’s true.  We all suffer from “self deception” to a certain extent.  It’s a trick we play on ourselves to shift accountability. We tell ourselves that we’ll start that diet….next week.  We tell ourselves that we lack the time to read and learn new skills.  We tell ourselves […]