What Power Does the FTC Have Over My Business?

Businesses, telemarketing or otherwise, are frequently unclear on the actual power the FTC holds over them. The Federal Trade Commission, by their own description, “enforces a variety of antitrust and consumer protection laws affecting virtually every area of commerce.” This gives the agency its two primary goals in protecting capitalism: protecting competition and protecting the consumer. That is clear enough, but if the FTC ever gets involved in your business, it seems that most employees are surprised by the event and confused about why it happened.

Before we continue, watch this video to see Andrew Cove himself discuss the powers of the FTC. When you’ve completed it, come back to this page to finish the article:


As you can see in the video, the FTC has significant powers over businesses. The lengths and methods the FTC uses to deal with companies involved in alleged consumer fraud are far beyond what most businesses might expect or prepare for. Emergency orders are often obtained without notice to the company itself (the defendant,) something which is fairly rare in the legal world. It means that your life can be turned upside-down without warning.

The picture that Andrew Cove paints in the video is a striking one. We take the example of a well-functioning small business, open about five years with around a dozen employees. One day, they answer a knock at the door to find men and women in suits accompanied by law enforcement officers with guns drawn and several boxes of legal documents. They tell the business owner that the FTC is suing both their business and them personally.

This can result in both your business’s and your personal funds and assets being frozen immediately. You will have to, often without clearly understanding the basis for the action, produce bank statements to the FTC, find a way to survive without access to your money, and hire a lawyer – again, without having access to your own accounts. You will have to do all of this immediately.

The FTC does important work and this description is not intended to villainize it, but rather to realistically explain to business owners how significant FTC enforcement actions can be. The FTC will routinely respond to allegations of consumer fraud with formal action and without warning. The first step is to become educated and aware.

Resolving these matters can be very difficult for all involved. If you are dealing with an investigation or formal action by the FTC, contact Cove Law, P.A. today for help. We know the challenges are not insurmountable – because we’ve dealt with them before.

Andrew Cove
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