What are my rights if I was a 1099 contract salesman for a company with no written agreement or compete agreement?

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What are my rights if I was a 1099 contract salesman for a company with no written agreement or compete agreement?

I contacted a prospective customer but no contract for work was signed. I then stopped representing that company and started providing my sales services to another. I did work for the customer under the new company, what legal right does the original company have to proceeds from the job. Have I broken any laws?

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were an independent contractor (a 1099 contract salesmen), then your relationship with the company then employing you was defined entirely by contract or agreement. If there was no written non-competition, non-solicitation, or confidentiality agreement (a confidientialityy agreement could affect your right to use proprietary information, such as a customer or leads list), then you should be able to now provide work for that customer without liability. (One caveat: if you worked for the first company under false pretenses--no intention of actually working for them--only to get access to their customers or their customer/leads list, then they may have a claim against you based, depending on the exact circumstances, in fraud or in tortitious interference with economic advantage.)


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