Direct Selling Association Announces Support for Legislation Clearly Defining Direct Sellers as Independent Contractors

October 3, 2018

Legislation would protect the freedom and flexibility to operate businesses

Washington, DC-The Direct Selling Association (DSA) supports enactment of the Preserving Direct Seller Independence Act of 2018, H.R. 7029, introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI). The legislation would clearly define direct sellers as independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) consistent with the Internal Revenue Service Code.

DSA President Joseph N. Mariano applauded Rep. Walberg for introducing this important legislation and noted that “as Congress examines the evolving gig economy, we trust that the independent contractor status of direct sellers as America’s Original Entrepreneurs continue to be supported.”

The independent contractor status of direct sellers is a long recognized aspect of the business model that was affirmed for federal tax purposes in 1983 under 26 USC 3508 (b)(2) of the IRS Code and is reflected in state law. H.R. 7029 would incorporate the same language in the FLSA and reinforce the long-standing treatment of direct sellers as independent contractors under federal labor law.

Direct selling offers a low-risk way to participate in a fast growing economy. People typically sell to their neighbors, friends and relatives on a part time basis. H.R. 7029 allows these independent salespeople to continue engaging in this dynamic retail channel.


The Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment.  In 2017, 18.6 million Americans were involved in some capacity in direct selling in every state, congressional district and community across the United States. In 2017, direct selling generated $34.9 billion in retail sales.

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I have additional questions, who can I contact?

You may contact Adolfo Franco, Executive Vice President.