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.