The cornerstone of the Direct Selling Association's (DSA) commitment to ethical business practices and consumer service is its Code of Ethics. Every member company pledges to abide by the code's standards and procedures as a condition of admission and continuing membership in DSA.

The DSA Code of Ethics speaks to both the consumer and the seller. It ensures that member companies will make no statements or promises that might mislead either consumers or prospective sales people. Pyramid schemes are illegal and companies operating pyramids are not permitted to be members of the DSA.

The DSA Code of Ethics is enforced by an independent code administrator who is not connected with any member company. The code administrator will do everything possible to resolve any complaints to the satisfaction of everyone involved, and has the power to decide on remedies. All member companies have agreed to honor the administrator's decisions.

See the full text of the Code of Ethics

Download a PDF of the summary version of the Code of Ethics

Find out what the Code of Ethics means for:

Find out how to file a Code complaint

Internal Consumption

The direct selling industry has been in the news recently as a result of inquiries by hedge fund manager David Einhorn about various aspects of the direct selling business model - most specifically with regard to the purchase and use of products by direct salespeople, commonly referred to as internal consumption. Find out more about internal consumption and the difference between legitimate direct selling companies and pyramid schemes.


Proselyting is a term of art used to describe the attempt to convert one or more salesforce members from one company to another. Proselyting is not addressed in the Code of Ethics, but the legality of efforts to attract salespeople from one company to another is a subject of frequent and intense discussion by industry members. The Direct Selling Association has adopted guidelines regarding these practices of which salespeople and companies should be aware.