2020 Georgia Code
Title 10 - Commerce and Trade
Chapter 1 - Selling and Other Trade Practices
Article 15 - Deceptive or Unfair Practices
Part 3 - Multilevel Distribution Companies; Sale of Business Opportunities
§ 10-1-413. Required Disclosures; Updating; Form of Notice
- Every multilevel distribution company intending to have participants in this state, with an agreement made in this state, or with its principal place of business in this state shall have readily available to any potential participants, prior to obtaining any participants in this state or elsewhere, a copy of the contract and of any material incorporated by reference into the contract to be used with participants.In every instance in which a multilevel distribution company solicits any initial payment in excess of $500.00, the multilevel distribution company shall also have readily available to the particular potential participant or participants, prior to signing the contract, a disclosure statement containing the following:
- The name and principal business address of the company; whether the company is doing business as a proprietorship, partnership, or corporation; the names under which the company has done, is doing, or intends to do business; and the name of any parent or affiliated company that will engage in business transactions with participants;
- The names, addresses, and titles of the company's officers, directors, and trustees;
- The length of time the company has:
- Been engaged in multilevel distribution; and
- Been engaged in multilevel distributions involving the types of products, equipment, supplies, or services currently offered to the purchaser; and
- A detailed description of the levels of distribution in the multilevel program, the manner in which participants will be compensated, and the extent or amount of any compensation.
- Every seller shall update the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413 as often as any material change in the required information occurs, but not less than annually.
- Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been convicted of a felony or pleaded nolo contendere to a felony charge if the felony involved fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;
- Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years been held liable in a civil action resulting in a final judgment or has settled out of court any civil action or is a party to any civil action involving fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade;
- Whether he or she is currently subject to any state or federal agency or court injunctive or restrictive order or is a party to a proceeding currently pending in which such an order is sought relating to fraud, including violation of any franchise law, unfair or deceptive acts or practices law, business opportunity law, multilevel distributing law, or pyramid law; embezzlement; fraudulent conversion; misappropriation of property; or restraint of trade; and
- Whether he or she has at any time during the previous seven fiscal years filed in bankruptcy, been adjudged bankrupt, or been reorganized due to insolvency or has been a principal, director, executive officer, or partner of any other person that has so filed or was so adjudged or reorganized during or within one year after the period that such person held such position in such other person.
- The terms of settlement or the terms of the order and the date, nature, and issuer of each such order or ruling; and
- The name and principal business address of any other person which filed, was adjudged, or was reorganized in bankruptcy.
(c) Whenever a multilevel distribution company must provide the disclosure statement required by subsection (a) of this Code section, the multilevel distribution company, prior to obtaining any participant, shall provide that participant with an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch document in at least ten-point type, which reads as follows:
"NOTICE REQUIRED BY STATE
LAW REGARDING DISCLOSURES
State law requires that a multilevel distribution company shall make available certain disclosures regarding the company prior to obtaining participants. This is your official notice that you have a right to request to see these disclosures prior to entering into any agreement with a multilevel distribution company. This will be the only notice you receive regarding your rights to see these disclosures. If you waive these rights, you are giving up an important consumer protection that the State of Georgia has found you should be provided. If you wish to exercise these rights, please indicate below that you want to see the disclosures before agreeing to be a participant, then do not agree to become a participant until the disclosures have been made available to you. SIGN ONLY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS: I wish to see the disclosures required by law before I agree to become a participant. _________________________________________________________________ Date: __________________ I do not wish to see the disclosures required by law; I understand that I will not be seeing important information which might affect my decision to participate in this multilevel distribution company. _________________________ Date: __________________"
Every multilevel distribution company shall maintain on file all of the statements as described in subsection (c) of this Code section for a period of two years from the date such statements are signed.
Every seller shall include the following regarding each officer, director, principal, and owner in the disclosures required by subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-411 and by subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-413:
The disclosures required under subsection (e) of this Code section shall include any of the following which are applicable:
The identity and location of the court or agency;
The date of conviction, judgment, or decision;
The penalty imposed;
The damages assessed;
(Ga. L. 1980, p. 1233, § 4; Ga. L. 1984, p. 522, § 4; Ga. L. 1988, p. 1868, § 1; Ga. L. 1992, p. 2370, § 3.)Law reviews.
- For note, "The Georgia Sale of Business Opportunities Act," see 1 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 219 (1985).
- Practices forbidden by state deceptive trade practice and consumer protection acts - pyramid or ponzi or referral sales schemes, 48 A.L.R.6th 511.