We are often contacted by an employee after they have left their job to start a new and competing business….and yes, they signed a noncompete but don’t really know what it means. We can and do help people like this all of the time. But, if we could counsel these clients before they left their current job we would make the following recommendations:
1. Do not take any customer or pricing lists from your employer.
2. Do not use company email and computers to make plans for your new (competing) job.
3. Do not tell current customers/clients of your plans to start a competing business or to join a company already competing with your current employer.
4. 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.
5. Make a copy of all non-compete and non-solicitation agreements which you may have signed during your employment with your current employer.
6. Seek an attorney with experience in this specialized area of the law and have a frank discussion of the risks and costs of going forward.