HOW THE TEXAS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES ACT SEEKS TO HELP CONSUMERS by:Murray Lobb Attorneys
One the main goals of the Texas Business Opportunity Act is to protect consumers interested in starting their own businesses from scam artists eager to defraud them out of their money. When ads appear on TV or via email — promising large profits in exchange for a small, initial investment – it’s never wise to assume a valid offer is being made.
Some of the most common business opportunity ads often claim that you’ll need to do very little work before you’ll start receiving your first profits. That’s rarely an honest offer since running a business is often hard work. Now that so many older Americans (and others) have been laid off from their jobs, it’s critical to carefully review each offer and look for “red flags” warning you of possible fraud.
The following information will help explain some of the different ways that the Texas Business Opportunity Act tries to regulate the way that many programs go about seeking investors and operating in this state.
Types of business offers governed by the Texas Business Opportunity Act
b.) Help you create a marketing, sales and production program (unrelated to a formal franchise business governed by separate laws);
c.) Promises to buy back products, equipment or supplies (or goods made from them) provided to you so you can run the business.
To further protect the public from dishonest business offers, the Attorney General of Texas requires parties making offers that meet the description above to first register with the Secretary of State andprovide any applicable bond or trust account required.
Whenever you become interested in investing in any business opportunity that even vaguely appears to be covered by the Texas Business Opportunity Act, it’s always best to review the matter with your Houston business law attorney. Our firm can check to be sure the seller’s company has formally registered with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office and posted all required funds.
As a potential investor, you should also be provided with key information (required by law) about any company – before ever tendering any money.
Legal disclosures companies must provide
When a business offer is made in Texas and is covered by the Texas Business Opportunity Act, the seller must provide specific information to the buyer ten (or more) days before any contract is signed by the parties and before any money is paid to the seller.
Here are some of the disclosures that must be provided.
Make sure the business you’re interested in requires you to do some type of work (such as selling products or services) before paying you any profits. If you are only being urged to solicit additional participants in the business, there’s a strong chance that you’re being “tricked” into building a pyramid scheme that may earn you short-term gains before the entire investment program collapses.
Always obtain legal advice regarding any business that sounds too much like a quick way to earn a lot of money. Attractive shortcuts to huge profits – especially those promoted in many weekend hotel and restaurant seminars – are often sham operations.
Please contact our law firm so we can provide you with the legal advice you’ll need before investing in any new business opportunities.
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