Educational Consumer Tips

Business Opportunities

Author: Better Business Bureau

The BBB generally advises investors
considering a business opportunity to take these precautions:

What is your motivation for becoming involved? Was it the reputation or features of a product or service that you have an interest in- or is it the claims of easy money, free trips, or special discounts on airlines, and cruises.

If your interest in the business opportunity is based upon options other than the business itself, you may wish to think twice before making a commitment of your time, money and energy.

Is it a quality product or service?

Do you have, or can you obtain easily the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful seller of that product or service.

Does the company making the offer assign territories, or
could they sell the opportunity to anyone in your area that has the start-up fee.

Does the promoter have a direct phone line, or do they use a voice mail system, where you have to wait for them to return your calls.

If the opportunity is presented in a seminar, are all details disclosed in writing before you invest your money?

Ask for names of at least current 10 Investors/Customers - Insist on conducting your own check of the company's operations.

Ask for detailed financial records for the past three years, and, if the business has made any income claims, ask for written documentation on company letterhead backing up those claims.

Is the initial investment more than $499.00 and are you
required to recruit others as part of the marketing program. If so, the company making the offer must register with the Attorney General's office as a seller assisted marketing plan.

Does the business opportunity involve the sale of a product? If the basis for the offer involves recruiting others, instead of selling a product, the opportunity may be a pyramid scheme which is illegal and you may risk prosecution by law enforcement

Does the company making the offer allow you to think it over before you invest, or do they demand payment before they give you any details. The BBB notes that in our experience questionable companies always apply pressure to invest on the spot, and do not allow time for the consumer to investigate before they invest.