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April 9, 2013

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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IRTA & QOIN Co-Host Conference On Complementary Currency Systems

The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) invites you to attend QOIN’s Second International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems to be held on June 21, 2013, in The Hague, The Netherlands. The event, organized by IRTA member QOIN, is part of a five-day conference that includes programs for academics and practitioners.

At the conference you will gain knowledge on cutting-edge systems of trade exchanges, time banks, energy-backed currencies, digital currencies, transition currencies and much more.

You will learn how complementary currencies are instrumental to combat unemployment, support the local economy, and enhance community networks. You will also get more insights on legal issues, besides exploring how such systems can be employed to meet social goals while saving on government budget expenses.

The June 21 conference (held on Friday) is attractive for professional practitioners, policy-makers, government officials, and academics working in the field of community currencies. There will be nine IRTA members presenting in five workshops. Join the debate on the future of currencies in a varied program with shows, games, and inspirational sessions!

You can also participate in the academic strand of the conference on June 19 and 20, and in the sessions dedicated to practitioners and grassroots organizations on June 22 and 23.

For more information and registration, click here.


Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On Valuable New Business?

If your barter company’s listing on BarterNews.com isn’t current, you are definitely missing out on new business. The web site BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic — with over 150,000 page-views every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the thousands of articles, the weekly “Tuesday Report,” and the “Contacts Section” of our site. They use the latter to find barter companies with which to do business.

Is your barter company’s listing up-to-date?

To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A) update any changes to your company’s listing, such as new location, phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company has not been listed.

Here’s how to get on board:

To make changes to your listing click here.

For new listings click here.


NATE/Banc Announcement

The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) is especially excited to announce that they will be utilizing new Trade Studio software for NATE Marketplace Banc transactions beginning June 1, 2013.

Trade Studio’s chief engineer, Kurt Bradley, brings his 13 years of experience developing technology solutions for the barter industry to NATE and the Banc for the first time. He explains that the NATE Marketplace will build upon the strengths of the Banc inter-exchange trading environment while delivering robust, enterprise-level marketing features and capabilities that respond to and anticipate the core users’ needs in a way that up until now has not been possible.

The new NATE Marketplace is being built upon the proven foundation of the Trade Studio transactional platform. “This new platform,” Bradley asserts, “will make daily trading easier and more intuitive for the exchange user. Even better, the longer term impact of this exciting new tool will make sure that the benefits of NATE and Banc membership roll all the way through to the most important person in the barter economy: the trade exchange clients. We can look forward to a trading environment that actually accelerates trade volume at a national level.”

NATE president Ric Zampatti states, “We were looking for a customized, user-friendly software for our members to go along with new direction we are taking this year, as we are very proactive in growing our association. Trade Studio should help bridge the gap and help increase Banc activity. Our ultimate goal to increase Banc awareness and productivity; the new NATE Marketplace has the ability to do so.”

An introductory session for Trade Studio is planned for the 2013 NATE Convention in Little Rock this May. Members will get a first-hand look at the new software, and an opportunity to interact with Mr. Bradley while learning the benefits of the new NATE Marketplace.

For more information about the convention and to register, click here.

Or contact Banc broker Lauren Pound, either at (678) 302-6772 or lauren@natebarter.com.


International Reciprocal Trade Association Announcement

IRTA Suggests Due Diligence On Franchise & License Agreements

The growth of the barter industry has caused an increase in the number of franchises, licenses and business opportunities being offered by barter related organizations in an attempt to expand their geographic reach and brand. Barter industry members and consumers need to be cautious and perform extensive due diligence to assure the legitimacy of such offerings.

In the U.S., when barter companies offer to sell their company name and business methodologies to a “franchisee” or “licensee,” the transaction is normally subject to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations which require a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) be provided to every potential buyer at least 14 days prior to a contract being signed and money being paid. The detailed and lengthy Financial Disclosure Document (FDD) is designed to provide a potential buyer sufficient information so as to make an informed decision. The FDD has been required in all states since July, 1, 2008. 

Under the FTC’s “Disclosure Requirements and Prohibitions Concerning Franchising and Business Opportunity Ventures,” Code of Federal Regulations, Title 26, Chapter 1, Subchapter D, Part 36, (better known as the FTC Franchise Rule), anyone who offers, sells or distributes goods, commodities or services is considered to be involved in the sale of a franchise if they:

a)    Have a trademark, trade name, advertising or other commercial symbol the recipient can use in its business; 

b)    Provide significant assistance to their customer (or client) in that person’s method of operation, and;

c)    Charge a fee for their services. If a business model meets these three criteria, regardless of whether that business is called a franchise, that business model falls under the FTC’s Franchise Rule and must comply with all federal and state franchise laws, rules and regulations.

The language that is used to describe the business arrangement, be it license, distributorship, business opportunity, etc. is irrelevant to U.S. government regulators. The often attempted spin that “licensing avoids franchise regulation because it is based in contract law rather than franchise law” is regularly rejected by government regulators and results in significant fines being assessed against the offering company for non-compliance. Non-compliant activity is deemed as an unfair or deceptive act or practice that is in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

A “license” for a specific region or territory in the barter industry is almost always considered a “franchise in disguise” because it does not abide by the regulatory franchise filing requirements of the FTC. Individuals and companies who are considering purchasing a “license, territory or franchise” from an existing barter organization need to be aware of the legal obligation the offering company has to provide the proper Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD). Paying money to a FTC non-compliant individual or company for a “franchise in disguise” is effectively wasting money on a mirage.

Thirty-three countries worldwide have franchising laws that are similar to the U.S.’s laws.

* The fifteen states listed below have their own state franchise investment laws that require franchisors to register the FDD with the state. Thirteen of these state laws treat the sale of a franchise like the sale of a security. They typically prohibit the offer or sale of a franchise within their state until a franchise offering circular has been filed on the public record with, and registered by, a designated state agency. (The FTC’s FDD still must be provided to a potential buyer in the other thirty-five sates that do not have specific state laws regarding franchising registration.)

 

California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

NOTE: THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVISORY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH.

For more information, click here.

To file a complaint with the FTC, click here.


* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

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