Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of Independent Business Owners (IBOs) powered by
in North America? That’s a lot of people with something in common: People who want to own their own business. They stand together as an economic force and as a united voice through their primary advocacy organization, the Independent Business Owners Association International (IBOAI), to make Amway the best business opportunity in the world. This section is about what it means to be an IBO and to have a strong voice in how the business is run.
What is an IBO?
An IBO is, literally, an Independent Business Owner: an individual or individuals who own and operate their own business, which is powered by Amway North America, formerly Quixtar.
IBOs are the CEOs of their own businesses, and they make many of the same daily business decisions other business executives make. As independent business men and women, IBOs decide how active to be in their business, what products to sell and at what prices, who to sponsor, what hours to keep, and other important decisions.
IBOs are independent contractors; they are not employees of Amway North America or Amway Corporation. As independent business owners, IBOs are free to make decisions many others in business are not free to make.
To learn about being an IBO, see the
Amway North America Business Reference Guide, which includes the Code of Ethics (D-1), Business Rules & Regulations (D-2), Product Rules & Regulations (D-6), and Rules of Conduct (D-11).
What is an upline?
Your upline is any IBO with other IBOs beneath him in his line of sponsorship. It describes the IBOs who are above you in your line of sponsorship (such as your “upline Diamond”).
What is a downline?
Your downline is any IBO who is registered under another IBO within a line of sponsorship. He is “downline” from his sponsoring IBO.
What is a customer?
A customer is someone
who registers with Amway through an IBO to buy quality products from that IBO.
What is sponsoring?
Sponsoring is very important to the Amway
Business Opportunity. It’s how IBOs bring others into their businesses to multiply their own efforts, earning additional income through their organization’s retailing activities and, thus, larger profits. This is how lines of sponsorship are built and large, profitable businesses are achieved.
How are achievement levels earned?
All levels of achievement are earned, whether they’re Platinum, Diamond, or Crown Ambassador – or the many other levels. IBOs must qualify for each level based on a strictly observed set of standards. A “pin” level is not dependent on how much money someone earns but on how many qualifying points he or she builds up each month selling products, helping others in their business organization do the same, and sponsoring new IBOs.
How are bonuses earned?
Different bonuses are earned at different stages of achievement in the business. For instance, there are performance bonuses, which are based on sales, and there are bonuses, which are based on
higher level of achievement. Some bonuses are earned monthly, some are earned yearly, and some are earned only once. Your sponsor or upline can explain all the possibilities.
What part do products play in the business?
Retailing of products is very important to the Amway
Business Opportunity. IBOs earn income from selling to customers to earn a profit and to earn bonuses. Retailing is one of the ways you can distinguish Amway from pyramid schemes, where income is derived from selling memberships rather than products. For more information on the high quality products available through an Amway IBO, see the separate
Product Section for a sampling.
What is the difference between Registration and Renewal?
Registration occurs when you first become an IBO or a customer. It happens only once for each.
Renewal occurs once each fall for IBOs as they renew their commitment to the business. Customers do not have to renew. The consequence for an IBO to not renew is loss of the IBO business, position in the line of sponsorship, and all the income and bonuses the business generates. All IBOs must renew by December 31 each year unless they registered after September 1 of that year.
How much income can you earn in this business?
Some IBOs get involved in Amway to add a little extra to their other sources of income. Others decide to leave their other sources of income, hoping to build a large income solely through Amway. Many IBOs operate somewhere in between. Their success is dependent upon a number of factors, not the least of which is their willingness to put in the hours and effort required to be successful in
any business. IBOs achieve a wide range of success levels, depending on their criteria.
Sometimes success isn’t measured in income alone. While money is a prime motivator for many who become IBOs, it is by no means the only one. Each individual measures success differently.
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What is the IBOAI?
The IBOAI (IBOA International or Independent Business Owners Association International) is a trade association representing Independent Business Owners affiliated with Amway North America, formerly Quixtar. It is the primary advocacy organization for IBOs in North America. A trade association is an organization of business people who share common interests or concerns, and who educate and represent their members. The IBOAI (or IBOA International) is one example.
The Association, which originated in 1959, is governed by a Board of Directors elected by its voting members. Board Members serve on committees that oversee areas of interest like Awards & Recognition, Business Operations, and Legal & Ethics. Separate committees meet on Governance & Oversight , and Hearing & Disputes, and a Marketing Advisory Committee (MAC) also advises Amway
on product development. Each year a Chairman and Vice Chairman are
elected from among the Board. The Association’s purpose is to educate
and protect its members and give its members a voice with Amway.
IBOAI staff provides support from offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
IBOA International (IBOAI)
is composed of its Members and the
who represent them. We are the voice of all
IBOs in North American, including the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, advising Amway on every facet of the business. We are also a resource for our Members.
What is IBOAI membership about?
IBOAI represents hundreds of thousands of IBOs in North America.
Membership begins when an IBO registers or renews with Amway North America.
The IBOAI represents IBOs for as long as they are a registered IBO or membership is renewed each year with Amway North America.
An individual IBO’s Membership contribution is currently only $12 per year and is part of the business start-up or renewal fee, which Amway North America collects at registration or renewal.
The contribution funds all of the Association’s activities, including Board meetings, conference calls, office operations, staff, Web presence (iboai.com,
iboaiblog.com), and social media presence (YouTube
Facebook page, and
What are the benefits of IBOAI membership?
Your minimal annual membership fee contributes to a greater good; when combined with half a million other IBOs, it gets you all this:
– staff of 8 available to all Members via phone, fax, or e-mail
There to focus on all issues that IBOs face, directly or as a liaison to Amway North America
Attend all major IBO events to provide information, assistance, and follow-up
A full-time Information Systems Director to assist IBOs with Web issues
– 18 leaders from across lines of sponsorship and lines of affiliation
to represent you
Focus on maintaining a level playing field for all members
Working with Members to create the best possible environment for success
Administer a very successful Dispute Resolution Process for all IBOs
– elected leaders volunteer their time and energy
Four formal Board meetings a year, plus additional meetings to focus on the future of the business on your behalf
Countless conference calls on critical issues that affect your business
Leader access at Corporate events like National Spotlight Tours and Achievers
– for music used at meetings and seminars
Blanket license for all IBOs with ASCAP
Blanket license for all IBOs with BMI
Helps keep costs in line and event prices down
Reputation Management and SEO campaigns
– Association effort gives more focused results and allows more control of resources
Spearheaded drive with Amway to create “The Facts About Amway North America” reputation management DVD
Created iboai.com and ibofacts.com websites to build a positive online presence
Created Social Media Resource Center on iboai.com to guide IBOs in proper use of and presence on multiple social media channels
Built and actively moderated iboblog.com web log to provide for IBO interaction
Led the way in use of social media by launching Official IBOAI Facebook Page and Official IBOAI Channel on YouTube
Intensive SEO efforts to increase the IBOAI presence on the Web
– could you afford these on your own? Could your group afford them?
IBO Tax Consultant Joe DePetris, Jr. who meets with the IRS regularly and assists IBOs with information
A Crisis Management Expert who advises the Board, Association, and its Members on major industry issues
Attorneys who meet regularly with regulatory agencies and Amway to watchdog trends and protect IBOs
Writers, Designers, Blog Moderators who regularly create a positive online presence for Members and prospects
What is the role of the IBOAI Board?
IBOAI Board is the representative body of the Association acting on behalf of all IBOs. With IBO input, support, and participation, the
IBOAI Board listens to ideas, proposes improvements, and advises
Amway North America on the best way to move the business forward.
Working closely with Corporate staff, the Board advises Amway on every facet of the business, from products and promotions to operations and business guidelines, as it has for 50 years. Together, they bring positive change to this business, to keep it moving forward and make certain the business is better for every generation.
The Board is guided by its
Executive Committee and
Governance & Oversight Committee, and members discuss important
issues in three essential committees:
Awards & Recognition,
Business Operations, and
Legal & Ethics.
In addition, the IBOAI’s
Hearing & Disputes Committee is an integral part of the Disputes
Resolution process, and the
Marketing Advisory Committee provides Amway with invaluable
insight for product development.
How does the Board represent you?
The IBOAI Board represent the Members in a variety of ways. They attend the four official IBOAI Board meetings, conduct numerous conference calls, and meet informally throughout the year to:
Advise and consult with Amway North America
Recommend new policies / rules
Recommend modifications to policies / rules
Resolve IBO disputes or disputes between IBOs and the Corporation
Communicate the issues of interest to all IBOs
Exercise the power and duty to preserve the interests of all IBOs
Administer internal affairs
Among the 113 momentous recommendations championed by the Board in 2009:
Fast Track program initiated by the Awards & Recognition Committee
Largest Growth Incentive program improvements ever
Simplification of registering clients and IBOs
Global Mobile initiative
Web 2.0 initiative
Social Media initiative
Rebranding of products to “green format”
In addition, the Board partnered with Amway numerous times at events such as Achievers, Diamond Meetings, National Spotlight Tours, and Amway North America’s 50th Anniversary celebrations during Global EDC and Diamond Forum in 2009 to help
communicate business-enhancing changes to IBOs.
What is the IBOAI Board about?
Board Members are elected by qualified Platinum North American IBOs and they serve their interests to preserve and protect the business for today and for future generations.
Directors must be qualified at the Diamond level or above to serve on the Board.
Every autumn, elections are held to elect new Directors to serve three-year terms that begin in January.
Board terms overlap so that there is a continual influx of new representatives.
Each autumn, a new Chairman and Vice Chairman is elected for the Executive Committee and Board Members are assigned to committees.
Learn more about the
IBOAI Board Structure on iboai.com.
Who serves on the IBOAI Board?
This is your 2013 IBOAI Board by Committee:
Kathy Victor, Chairman
Bob Andrews, Vice Chairman
Awards & Recognition
Angelo Nardone, Chairman
Joe Markiewicz, Vice Chairman
Kathy Victor, Chairman
Howie Danzik, Vice Chairman
Legal & Ethics
Bob Andrews, Chairman
Steve Woods, Vice Chairman
Hearing & Disputes
Jody Victor, Chairman
Governance & Oversight
Jody Victor, Governance
Bill Hawkins, Oversight
Marketing Advisory Committee
Terry Andrews, Chairman
Theresa Danzik, Vice Chairman
IBOs are never alone. They have a sponsor, a line of sponsorship, and the IBOAI – their primary advocacy organization – behind them all the way.
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How can I become a member of the IBOAI?
You must be an IBO powered by Amway North America (formerly Quixtar) to be a Member of the IBOAI. Becoming a Member occurs upon registering or renewing as an IBO. The minimal annual fee is automatically included in your registration or renewal fee.
How many IBOAI Members are there?
Membership numbers fluctuate from month to month, so we don’t publish actual numbers. However, we can say that membership in the IBOAI is in the hundreds of thousands.
If I change my mind about membership, how can I resign?
You may withdraw your IBOAI membership within the first 90 days of registering or renewing with Amway North America.
If I resign, can I get my fees back?
You can get your fees back if you resign your membership within the
first 90 days of joining Amway North America.
Are IBOAI memberships available in other countries?
The IBOAI is available only in North America (U.S., Canada, Guam, and a few islands in the Caribbean). However, there are IBO associations in New Zealand and Australia representing those markets.
Who elects the Board?
Voting Members elect Members to the Board. Voting Members are at the qualified Platinum level or above and elections are held every autumn.
Can the Board veto a Corporate decision?
No, the Board is an advisory body and has no legal authority over the Corporation. There are legal and regulatory reasons for this. However, the Board and the Corporation have always worked very closely to discuss policies and decisions where they disagree. Ultimately, however, the Corporation makes the final decisions.
If you have questions about the IBOAI Board, please e-mail us. We will research your questions and get back with you, and we will post frequently asked questions (FAQ) here. Thank you for your interest in the IBOAI.
E-mail us with your questions: