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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Part time job and competitive MISV

I need help.
I've left full time job (swdev) some time ago. Now I'm about to start MISV, competitive to the previous job.
It is ok, since I've left the job, so "No Competition Agreement" is other.
Though, my former boss wants me to get back on part time basis, so the company don't suffer due to my leave.
For ethical reasons, I tend to accept this.
But, to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to create a personal Employment agreement (different to what the company used to sign with employees, and that prohibits competitive activity), that allows me to do independent business, even if it is competitive.
I'm not a native English speaker, so I'm in doubt how to accurately and precisely formulate this new agreement.
Please give me your advices. I want to explicitly declare in the agreement, that any previous agreements are other since (date of my leave of the company) and that new part time employment does not limit me in any way, including but not limited to new business, consulting and any other jobs.
- Alex.
Alex80 Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
If you're really serious about this and want something that will stand up in court, you have to pay the lawyer to draft the contract.

No one here can (or should) give you the exact wording of such contract because that's not what we (programmers or business owners) do.

That being said, start by telling your boss that you plan to compete with his company. I don't see how he would (re)hire you, even part-time, if he knew of your plans, especially if he, as you said, includes non-compete clause in standard employment contact.

Even if you do tell them and have the right contract it seems like you're heading for trouble. People are not exactly rational. If you become successful your ex-boss can become angry and sue you anyway. Even if he has no case, you'll still have to pay the lawyer lots of money to defend yourself.

If you need the money => find a different part-time job.

If you don't need the money, don't get into situations that might cause trouble in the future.
Krzysztof Kowalczyk Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
The only solution is to do contract work for your former employer.  Do not become an employee, not even part-time.  Check with a lawyer if you want, but you can save yourself some money and accept that you cannot quarantine your business from this type of work, regardless of how many hours you are being paid for, or how your employment contract is worded. 

The only disadvantage of you becoming a contractor to your former employer is that you lose whatever worker rights you are legally eligible for as an employee, which are probably less that what you think they are, and weren't good enough to stop you from quitting and starting your own business.  Whatever you agree to in a written contract can now be held against you, even non-compete agreements.  So don't agree to terms that you don't like.  If your new client/former employer won't agree to a contract you can live with, walk away. 

Write up your own agreement that states you retain all rights to any software you develop for your client, offer exclusivity in areas where you feel it won't hurt your business and your client needs it badly enough to pay extra for.  Make it clear what is included in billable time and make it clear when you require payment.  If your client wants you to accept his contract instead of yours, the agreed upon amount should include enough to cover your legal fees to have his contract reviewed before you sign it. 

That should cover it.  If your client insists on performance guarantees, you definitely need to have a lawyer look it over before you agree to the contract.
Howard Ness Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Get a draft employment (or, rather, contracting) agreement and take it to the lawyer. $300/hr where I live (Toronto). Tell them what you want (minimal non-compete clauses). They will review the agreement and strike out whatever is conflicting with your wishes. You take it back to the employer ... and so it goes for 3-4 rounds. So prepare some $1K.
Vladimir Dyuzhev Send private email
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Don't do it. You are on somewhat shaky ground to begin with. As a employee/contractor you have and will be exposed to all sorts of privileged info. A noncompete means that you can go work for a competitor. It doesn't mean you can take the other companies' ip and insider info  to your new job.
Foobar Send private email
Thursday, August 15, 2013

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