Legally speaking the difference is an MLM has a product or service they offer, those in MLM programs make money off recruiting new people who purchase those products or services. A pyramid scheme is where there is no actual product or service being offered and only money is being exchanged, making it illegal.
Exactly what miss_lisa said. I have my own business from home and I always suggest doing research on something before you join. Check with the BBB and other credible websites. Credible being the key word because anyone can go post any random thing on the internet and it not be true. ;o)
Legally speaking, yes, there is a difference and therein lies the rub. Because there is a product involved and the MLM is sheltered by the law, particularly in Utah, there is very little recourse for those who get ripped off "downline." Be very wary of MLMs.
There is a difference, just as previous posters stated. But with that said there are some excellent MLM opportunities out there. Just like everything else in this world there is always some negative and you just have to do your home work and check it out. And make certain it works for you. My husband and I have one we are involved in and we LOVE it. Thought we would never ever do anything related to ether. We do it as a family, even our children are involved.