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Let's do it legally- How do I start my business-and keep my full-time job...

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I work full-time for a major corporation which sells a product like the "Sony Walkman". 95% of this companies revenue comes from the sale of this product, and the monthly service charges taken in for it's clients to use it's product. 5% of it's revenue comes from selling OEM accessories to it's current clients.

I wish to start my own business on the side of this full-time job, selling aftermarket accessories for the main product that I sell for "Sony Walkman".

The clients that I currently sell "Sony Walkmans" to, would also be my target market that I would be selling these aftermarket accessories to.

How can I legally market, and run my business, selling aftermarket products to the same clients that I currently sell "Sony Walkman's" to?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Note: There is no expectation for me to sell OEM accessories for "Sony Walkman", nor did I sign a Non-Competitive Agreement with "Sony Walkman". I may have (I actually can't remember this) signed a Confidentiality Agreement with "Sony Walkman". Or I may have not actually turned it in when I started my job with "Sony".
On the "down-side": Most (about 95%) of the current sales representatives for "Sony Walkman" sell aftermarket accessories "under-the-counter" to their current "Sony Walkman" clients. Including the top reps. Do you think this known fact would possibly prevent "Sony Walkman" from drawing attention to, or conflict, of any problem with my new business- for fear of the public finding out about these illegal dealings by 95% of their other sales reps? PR, and IRS issue for "Sony Walkman".(It is widely known that these under-the-counter sales among all reps is done- but ignored.)
I really want to start my own business- and the market is hot. How can I approach this whole situation legally?
I understand that anything anyone comments is "not to be taken literally", or shall I say "legally". Thanks for your help!


Senior Member
Pretty simple..... Start your business, sell your product. Just be sure to:

1) Not violate any trademark or copyrights in marketing your product.

2) Do not use any information, data, leads, or 'trade secrets' available to you from your 'regular' job. In doing this, be VERY careful to document the fact that all sales leads, product referrals, advertising, etc. was done independently of your 'regular' job. Be prepared for this issue and keep the two jobs SEPARATE!!

3) Don't lie about it to your 'regular' employer. This doesn't mean you have to yell it from the coffee room, but if asked, tell the truth. Goes unsaid, do not blab this to your fellow employees. Your friend today, could want your job tomorrow.

4) Find out if you signed any document precluding your 'branching out' into a related business. If you did, your done.

5) Finally, be prepared to be un-employed by your 'regular' employer if you get caught. Upside, you will have a lot of time to start your new venture.

As said before, I don't believe that your 'regular' employer will accept your 'Hey man, everybody is doing it" defense. At the minimum, you will find that you have plenty of time to work on your business... and might have to answer to civil and possible criminal charges (for violation of trade secrets, theft, etc.).

And why do you think that 'Sony' would take a hit with either PR or the IRS if they claim that some of their employees stole from them??

Steve Halket
Judgment Recovery of Houston
[email protected]
This is my PERSONAL OPINION and is not legal advice! Consult your local attorney for your specific situation and laws!

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