Franchises, Business Opportunities, and Investments

For companies selling franchises and business opportunities and entrepreneurs in the market – the FTC's Franchise Rule and Business Opportunity Rule mandate disclosures and offer buyers certain protections.  In addition, the FTC has resources to help people spot business opportunity and investment scams and avoid franchise taboos.

Ads for Business Opportunities: How To Detect Deception [PDF] [En español]

Promoters of fraudulent business opportunities run ads where their targets are likely to see them: in daily and weekly newspapers, in magazines, and on the Internet. Advertising sales staff with a well-trained eye can recognize – and reject – ads promoting bogus promotions.

Amended Franchise Rule FAQ's

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Amended Franchise Rule 16 C.F.R. Part 436

At-Home Medical Billing Businesses [En español]

Ads for business opportunities doing medical billing may sound like the perfect work-at-home option, but beware. The reality is that few people who pay for medical billing opportunities make any money.

Bogus Business Opportunities [En español]

Thinking about investing in a bizopp? The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule requires companies to disclose key information before you buy. Follow these tips to avoid a bizopp rip-off.

Buying a Franchise: A Consumer Guide [PDF]

Thinking about buying a franchise? Investigate before you invest. Before you sign on the dotted line, read this guide for advice on evaluating franchise opportunities.

Franchise Rule Compliance Guide [PDF]

This compliance guide helps franchisors comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s amended Franchise Rule.

Getting Business Credit [PDF]

Thinking about starting your own business or expanding the one you own? When you shop for a loan or line of credit, the law protects you against discrimination. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from denying you a loan based on reasons that have nothing to do with your credit-worthiness.

Multilevel Marketing

There are multi-level marketing plans – and then there are pyramid schemes. Before signing on the dotted line, study the company’s track record, ask lots of questions, and seek out independent opinions about the business.

Selling a Work-at-Home or Other Business Opportunity? Revised Rule May Apply to You [PDF] [En español]

If you sell business opportunities, including work-at-home bizopps, find out how the FTC’s revised Business Opportunity Rule may apply to you. Avoid a compliance miscue by making required disclosures and steering clear of prohibited practices.

Starting an Internet Business [En español]

Warns potential business owners about scammers that charge large upfront fees to help start internet businesses.

When Yellow Pages Invoices Are Bogus [PDF]

Unscrupulous promoters have been known to solicit ads for bogus business directories. Before you buy ad space or pay an “invoice” for a listing you didn’t authorize, take steps to recognize deceptive schemes.