Should I tell my current employer about a side business I am working on?
I am not sure whether I need to or should tell my current employer about a side business I am starting. It is not competitive with the company I work for but I don't want anyone to get upset if they find out about my business. I am curious how others have handled something like this.
Check your employment agreement to see if you signed on to any commitment to inform your employer of any side business you may become involved in on your own time - even if it is not competitive with the business of your current employer.
No. Keep it separate and make sure you have plenty of time alone to build this business until you are strong enough to leave your current work.
Almost everyone here sounded a warning bell for you, Sara. I consult with a startup currently where the team wants to share their work with their employers who pay their salaries. I asked if they work on their company's computers doing the work or their employer or the work of their startup.
They replied the startup. I replied, then that startup work belongs to the employer and you have no rights to that work because that start up work is done on corporate computers. They not only removed their start up work from their employer's equipment but they now concentrate on their employer's work while they are on the employer's work site.
While you are not competing, Sara, you are not concentrating on the work the employer hired you to do. The employer has the right to terminate your services if you 'feel' the need to reveal work you are doing on your employer's time.
I flew under the radar, testing business concepts while working for an employer for 6 years but I did that testing on my own machine, at home, after employer working hours.
If your side business is generating income for you, that is your business, not your employer's business but do not do that business on your employer's time unless you re ready for termination.
Think about it: when your side business becomes profitable and you hire employees to work for you, what do you want those employees doing on the time you pay them to work? If they are not doing your work but working on their side businesses then you have the right to terminate them. They care nothing for your company but their own self interest in their side business.
The decision is yours, Sara, but it is not smart to position yourself for termination.
There are only two ways your employer will discover your side business: you work on your side business on your employer's time on your employer's equipment, or, you tell the employer - hey I have a side business that I work on.
Again your decision but think it through and decide the best course for you.
Hope this helps.
Apologies for being blunt.
If it isn't competitive with the company you work at, than it's entirely up to you. However, if it's going to interfere with your work at your other job, than I would most certainly mention it. Otherwise, there's no need to say anything if it doesn't get in the way at all.
Easy question and easy answer:
If you were the owner/manager would you want to know if one of your employees is having a side business?
If yes -tell em
If no- don't
I currently own my own business and work full time in a non related industry and my employer and co-workers have actually helped me grow. I feel as long as your pursuits do not interfere with your current job duties your employer should not have any issues with it. That said, your employer deserves the time he is paying you for the job you are hired for make sure your side business is conducted outside of that business and on your time..
Hi Sara, this does not resonate with me. Loyalty is a must and commitment follows. So don't feel guilty. Instead, decide to tell them first, before they find out and question you about it. Florence MacDonald
As you are just starting out I would tend to call it a "Hobby" until it's starts to generate income, and demand more and more of your time.
Irrespective of your contract, your time is your time.
Work time is work time.
So long as there is no conflict of interest, product, customer base, Industry type, time spent and efficiency in your day job. There is no real need to disclose.
Many people I know have hobbies that may generate some extra income, from making things at home, to online business, to playing in a band.
Otherwise they are simply doing it because they like to.
Why even your manager may have an outside hobby that generates something.
I would not worry about it, until it becomes something more.
Good luck with it.
Hi Sara, if your business is nowhere near a potential conflict of interest, or a case of leveraging the expertise or tools you've acquired through your employer, I'd say no, don't tell the. Best wishes for your continued endeavors. -Paul
If it’s not competitive, then you don’t NEED to tell. Should you tell? That’s up to you. If it’s not competitive with the company, then on the surface, there is no reason for anyone to get upset if they find out. So the only reason “not to share it” is if you are uncomfortable sharing it.
It only causes issues if you start to take advantage of the situation.
Reasons for manager to be upset:
1) You are no longer doing exceptional work for the company
2) You are no longer working your full 40 hours for the company
3) You are using company equipment and supplies for your side business
4) You are doing your side-business on company time
5) Using the company’s client-information for your side-business
6) Approaching the company’s clients to sell your side-business’ services
7) Selling your side-business’ services to your co-workers without clearing it with your manager first.
As long as you keep your side-business totally separate from your current-employer’s assets, you will be fine. But this is actually tougher than it seems. You may start with little things like: making a few flyers on the company copier, using their paper/markers/labels, taking a few minute during the day to answer your side-business emails/calls, or regularly taking longer lunches to run your side-business errands.
So - if you are doing anything that you would feel uncomfortable doing while your manager is standing next to you, then you are probably stepping over the line.
I would check your employment agreement if you have one, just to be sure there is nothing SPECIFICALLY precluding you from what you do on your own time. You may run into "work for hire" issues (always a grey area) if you invent something as you employer could state that you learned how to do this during your regular working hours. That said, enjoy your "hobby" (I strongly agree with that terminology if anyone should ask) and best of luck!
As Mike Irby stated earlier: "be upfront". If you are not getting into a "competitive situation" with your current employer then there should be no issue. I would define a competitive situation as "being in the same business, in a related business or a business that will take your productive time away from your current employer." If you are under a contractual obligation where your current employer owns any IP you develop, you are obligated to inform your employer of what you are doing.
In today's digital business and personal environment your current employer will learn of your "side business". There is a strong possibility he/she already knows. If he/she does not hear of it from you, it will appear that you are hiding something so do the right thing and let him/her know. Who knows, your current employer may be supportive and offer to help you grow your business.
If the situation were reversed, and you were the employer what would you want and expect from your employees?
I've been in your shoes! I say it's not necessary to let them know., But don't scare yourself into not doing your business.
I became a full time business owner in 2005. I now have interests in 2 other businesses that I participate fully in as well..and have had a employees start their own companies and leave. So I know what I'm talking about a little bit.. I was always more excited than the employee's supervisors (Who were not business owners and only knew to advise them not to do it.) The supervisor I'm referring to pretty much made it very difficult for the employee to stay.. (I was really mad when I found out.) . Had the employee come to me 1st instead of their supervisor it might have gone much smoother for them. and I wouldn't have lost good employees.
So with that, Let me ask you a few questions to get you thinking right. Does your employer have an exclusivity contract that binds your extracurricular activities? (Obviously Not)
More Importantly, even though you identify as an "employee" You are already in the business of YOU... Aren't you providing a valuable service in which YOU get compensated for your work based on an agreed upon amount of production?
Your product/service are the WORK YOU.inc provides - And YOU.inc happens to have ONLY one CUSTOMER (the employer) - A "Business Arrangement" of such that can be terminated by either party at any time. Ergo, YOU ARE THE CEO OF YOU..
And if this is true, (which it is) how can any of your customers dictate which other customers you choose to assist? (They can't. - They simply don't own you)
Personally, I admire employees who are entrepreneurial. I promote them all the time! They take ownership, are better workers, and just get it... Something often missed by most employees.
IMPORTANT: Also understand - a Manager is NOT a Business Owner.
They operate from the view of another employee. Generally lacking the big picture of the goal of being in business. Business owners like and celebrate others who have the courage to step up and be business owners.
SO, If you do decide to have this conversation with your employer I would strongly suggest NOT having it with anyone OTHER Than the Business Owner.. "You don't hire a plumber to fix a leaky roof"
(Managers are the Plumber in this scenario.)
Lastly, I'm not gonna lie - it's been Ram and Noodles difficult at times over the past 11 years. - but I wouldn't trade it for any 9-5 again - EVER!
Hope my 2 cents helps.
its not a bad idea if you can guarantee your time availability for the company and non competitiveness of your personal business.
Never. Ever. Period.
Any exceptions will be so few and far between that they can/should be dealt with as they arise.
Review whatever work policy or non-compete that applies and stay legal. That should be a given.
Your time away from work is your business. If your employer needs to make any decisions about you it should be totally based on your work and performance.
Human nature cannot ignore extraneous data and will inevitably factor it into all your employer knows about you and that relationship. From there justifications can (and in most cases will) affect your employer's decisions.
If you want to gamble with your career or job stability, ignore the above. We live in a world that, more often than not, punishes us for communicating openly.
We can't un-know something once it's known. And when it comes down to some level of real or perceived survival, the person or entity with the most power or the most to lose or gain will use whatever means necessary and the aforementioned justifications and information to minimize the negatives on their side of the equation.
This is even more applicable if it's not even a real business yet. Why risk anything on talking about a future business venture that won't fully support your lifestyle now (in case it needs to)?
I wouldn't. I'd continue to work both. Work your current job, and work to move your venture along. What you do in your own time is really no business of theirs. As for staying off of social media, I don't think you should do that either. If you're worried about them finding out, then keep it off of your personal profile until you're ready, but DO start business pages with business name and logo etc. Your personal name doesn't have to be a part of it until you're ready for it to be.
Best of luck to you in your new venture!!
NO NO NO. No matter how little overlap occurs between your time at work and your new business, your employer will become suspicious you are spending "work time" on your new venture. Unless there is some requirement in your onboarding paperwork which requires you to disclose outside activity, keep it to yourself. Good luck.
I think it's natural to feel excited about our own business, but I don't think that's relevant for anyone in the company you work for. I see it like a family matter, I don't need to speak about it with my work friends ou my boss.
I would agree with the majority of "NO." With the way the vast majority of companies are today, I would also recommend changing your profile picture immediately and your name if these are true indentifiers of you. One does not need to be a member to see your picture, name, & discussion.