What is Upline and Downline in Multi-Level Marketing? (With Examples)

Two important concepts in the direct selling industry take special relevance in the Multi-level marketing and models of party plan where network structure is included in the compensation plan.

These two concepts are downline and upline. Each person of the sales force in both the models is called a consultant, representative or a distributor etc. The sales force is a part of a network that is constituted by the downline and Upline.

The idea behind network marketing is that you could sell services, products, and packages by using word of mouth. This word of mouth can be achieved through face-to-face interaction or also with online social media.

The definition of these two concepts is actually straightforward. Still, the compensation plan structures can be perplexed, according to the company.

What is an Upline? – Upline definition

upline in multi level marketing

The representative who presents the business to you is your upline. He or she helps you achieve your goals according to your settings after registering the business under him or her. He or she also gets a commission on the sales of your products.

What is a Downline? – Downline definition

upline and downline in multi level marketing
MLM Guide

The person who registers to the company under you. You present the business to your downline, and it is your duty to help them in the business. On the sales of your downline products, you will get a commission.

Well, the downline is the person registered under you. Meanwhile, Upline is the person that you registered.


Two categories of people have to be there working together to run the system well. It is the responsibility of the upline to help the downline to get to know the business well and guide them for success.

Multi-level marketing is also known as MLM, network marketing, direct selling, party plan. It is a business in which a sales force sells products and services with word-of-mouth marketing. The representatives or consultants are compensated by the sale of Services and products to the customers and the sales made by other sales people they have recruited.

Other representatives generally earn a percentage of their recruits’ sales as consultant recruits. These recruits are known as downline distributors.


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