different compensation plans in the mlm

MLM businesses thrive on their MLM compensation programs. They exhibit the principles, values, and culture of an organization. Distributors are perfectly recognized, rewarded, and encouraged by effective compensation systems. 

It can be characterized as a reliable organizational framework with income opportunities, profitability, bonuses, and commissions. An MLM compensation scheme with even a minute fault might ruin the company because it is based on pure mathematics. An MLM strategy has the significant benefit that as your business grows, you get to know it better and can make adjustments to suit the stability of your company. There are different MLM plans based on business plans we can choose the suitable one. However, if you want to keep your network marketing business strong, you must take advantage of this benefit.

How do MLM plans work?

Various forms of compensation operate differently. Their bonuses and commission structures differ. Distributors are compensated under significant compensation plans for their sales volume and downlines. In some compensation plans, commissions are also paid up to a specified downline level.

Types of Compensation Plans in MLM

1. Binary Plan

In the Binary compensation Plan, distributors have two legs, often referred to as the "power legs." Typically, the power legs are known as the left leg and the right leg. As distributors recruit new members, they place them in either the left or the right leg. Commissions are typically calculated based on the sales volume generated by the weaker leg. The aim is to balance the growth of both legs, as the distributor's earnings depend on the performance of the weaker leg.

Binary MLM Software

While binary MLM can be financially rewarding for participants who are strong at sales and recruiting, there may also be drawbacks. Members' profits may decline as a result of market saturation, and a strong power leg may occasionally cause commissions to be distributed inequitably. However, binary MLM can be a profitable business strategy if it is implemented correctly with the appropriate products and marketing techniques.

2. Unilevel Plan

The Unilevel Compensation Plan allows distributors to build a downline organization with unlimited width. Distributors personally sponsor new members, who are placed on their front line. As the downline organization grows, the distributor earns commissions based on the sales volume generated by the entire downline organization. Unlike the Binary Plan, there are typically no restrictions on the depth of levels, meaning distributors can earn commissions on multiple levels within their organization.

In the MLM with Unilevel Compensation, participants receive commissions based on the depth of their downline. They may, for example, receive a particular percentage of the sales generated by their direct recruits, a reduced percentage from the sales generated by the second-level recruiters, and so on.
In other words, they can increase their commissions by signing up more members.

3. Matrix Plan 

The Matrix Compensation Plan has fixed limitations on the width and depth of the distributor's downline organization. For example, a common matrix structure is a 3x7 matrix, which means a distributor can have up to three distributors directly under them on the first level, and those three distributors can each have three distributors under them, and so on, for a total of seven levels. Commissions are typically earned based on the sales volume or a set amount per level. It helps to grow their network and increase their earning potential.

4. Single Leg Plan

The Single Leg Plan, also known as a Monoline Plan or Linear Plan, is a straightforward compensation structure where every distributor is placed in a single, straight line. As new distributors join, they are added to the bottom of the line, creating a single leg that continues to grow in length. Commissions are typically earned based on the overall sales volume or a specific percentage of the entire organization's sales volume. This plan promotes teamwork and spillover, where distributors above can help those below by placing recruits under them.

5. Board MLM plan

The Board MLM Plan, also known as the Revolving Matrix Plan, follows a structure where distributors work towards filling a board or matrix of fixed positions. A board typically consists of a specific number of positions, such as 3x3 or 5x5. As distributors join, they fill the available positions from left to right, top to bottom. Once a board is filled, it splits into two sub-boards, and the distributor at the top "cycles out" to a higher level, earning commissions, bonuses, or rewards. This process repeats as the distributor progresses through multiple levels or boards.

6. Hybrid MLM Plan

The Hybrid MLM Plan combines elements from various compensation plans to create a unique structure. It can incorporate features of binary, Unilevel, Matrix, or other plans to suit the company's specific goals. For example, a company might have a binary plan for the initial stages of a distributor's journey and then transition to a Unilevel plan as the distributor achieves higher ranks. The Hybrid MLM Plan provides flexibility and allows MLM companies to adapt their compensation structure to fit their needs or to introduce innovative elements.

How to analyze MLM compensation plans?

When analyzing different compensation MLM plans, it can be helpful to consult with MLM experts, financial advisors, or professionals who have experience in the industry. They can provide insights and guidance to help you make an informed decision and evaluate the plan's potential for success.

Here are some key aspects to evaluate:

  • A good compensation plan should strike a balance between rewarding distributors for their efforts and ensuring customers receive value from the products or services. It should incentivize both customer acquisition and retention, as well as distributor recruitment and sales. 
  • Look for a compensation structure that provides growth opportunities and rewards that are meaningful and attainable for distributors. The plan should offer incentives, bonuses, and promotions that motivate distributors to stay engaged and build their businesses over the long term. 
  • Understanding the overall payout percentage is important. This refers to the portion of sales revenue that is allocated for distributor commissions and bonuses. While a high payout percentage may seem attractive, it could lead to financial instability for the company. Consult with a professional consultant or MLM expert if you need assistance in evaluating the payout structure. 
  • Assess the sustainability of the compensation plan. An overly generous plan with high commission rates and rewards may appear appealing initially, but it could result in financial strain on the company or collapse if not supported by sustainable revenue generation. Look for a plan that strikes a balance between attractive rewards and the company's ability to maintain profitability. 
  • Consider whether the compensation plan has a compression strategy. Compression allows distributors who have achieved a certain level to be protected from demotion due to a sudden drop in performance. This feature ensures that distributors' achievements are safeguarded and provides stability within the organization. 
  • Avoid plans with complex or convoluted structures that make it difficult to determine how commissions and bonuses are calculated. Ensure that the plan's terms, qualifications, and requirements are clearly stated and easily accessible. 
  • Verify that the compensation plan complies with local laws and regulations governing MLM or direct selling businesses. It's crucial to ensure that the plan adheres to legal requirements and guidelines to protect both the company and its distributors.


It's important to note that MLM compensation plans can vary significantly between companies. Some MLM companies even combine elements of multiple plans to create their unique compensation structure. It's crucial for individuals considering joining an MLM to thoroughly understand the compensation plan and evaluate its fairness, sustainability, and alignment with their personal goals.

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