I receive telephone calls all the time from individuals who are getting ready to leave their current job and GO work for a competitor. The phone call goes like this, ” I signed this non-compete agreement 3 years ago…I have not seen it in yearS and don’t know exactly what it says…will I get into trouble if I go to work with a competitor of my company?”
The issues to consider (and their answers) are too many to post in this blog but here is a short of Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Get a copy of the non-compete agreement as discreetly as possible – no reason to wake sleeping dogs. Read and know what the agreement says.
2. Do not communicate with your future (prospective) employer while “on the clock” with your current employer.
3. Do not use company email to discuss other job opportunities.
4. Do not copy or remove client or customer lists from your current office.
5. If you are starting a new business, remember the date of incorporation, registration, etc can easily be discovered afterwards and can be used as evidence against you in litigation.
6. If you are planning on going with an already established business…tell your soon to be employer about your noncompete agreement. If possible, ask the prospective employer to pay the legal costs you may incur if your current employer files suit.
7. Last, but most importantly, CONSULT WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE LAWYER AND UNDERSTAND THE RISKS OF YOUR BUSINESS DECISIONS!