What is the legality if I want to start my own company to provide a service to technology companies in helping them reach customers to renew their support contracts?

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What is the legality if I want to start my own company to provide a service to technology companies in helping them reach customers to renew their support contracts?

I currently work at a large technology company and currently reach out to our current customers to renew their support contracts. What I want to know is, if this would be a conflict of interest?

Asked on October 6, 2014 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have signed a noncompetitive agreement with your employer, the terms of that agreement will be construed to determine whether or not you can start your own company providing the same service as your employer.  These noncompetitive agreements are limited in terms of scope, duration and geographic proximity to your employer.  Therefore, you may be able to start your own business if it does not conflict with the noncompetitive agreement.  If the agreement is overbroad, it can be challenged in court.  A court may modify a noncompetitive agreement to limit its scope, duration and geographic proximity.

Additional issues to consider regarding a conflict of interest are whether the business you plan to start will interfere with existing contracts between your employer and technology companies and/or whether this will induce breach of contract.  You could be sued by your employer for interference with an existing contract and/or inducing breach of contract.

If you can set up your business so that it is not violating the noncompetitive agreement with your employer and you are not interfering with existing contracts and/or inducing breach of contract between your employer and technology companies, you can avoid conflicts of interest.


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