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I'm just about to start in a new job. At the same time I'm currently working with a co-founder on weekends on a startup idea. However it's still early stage without funding or customers. However, we are applying for incubators and accelerators. Chances are I may quit in another 3-6 months to go full-time on our startup idea.

I haven't disclosed this to my new employer (digital web agency), that I'm doing this as I think it would have compromised my chances of landing this job. My role in this new job has nothing to do with the startup idea, so I don't think there's a conflict of interest of any sort.

Should I disclose my project or am I correct in keeping it under the wraps for now?

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    Are you signing any paperwork at the new job that has anything to do with intellectual property? If so, it's very likely that you'd want to consult with an attorney to ensure that you aren't inadvertently giving the new employer rights to your work at the startup. You may need to disclose your work at the startup to avoid that. But that's very dependent on the laws in your country/ state/ region and the specific agreement(s) you have with your employer. – Justin Cave Mar 11 '15 at 4:11
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    @JoeStrazzere - In his defense in 3-6 months the start up is just as(or maybe more) likely to fail to thrive as it is to succeed. I keep taking jobs hoping that next week I will hit the lottery and can just quit :p Not much difference in odds. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 11 '15 at 14:34
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    Are you forbidden from moonlighting in your contract or employment agreement? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Mar 11 '15 at 14:36
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I'm just about to start in a new job.

Chances are I may quit in another 3-6 months to go full-time on our startup idea.

I haven't disclosed this to my new employer (digital web agency), that I'm doing this as I think it would have compromised my chances of landing this job.

Should I disclose my project or am I correct in keeping it under the wraps for now?

No, don't bother disclosing anything now, unless your employer requires such a disclosure during your onboarding. You'll know this by the specifics of the paperwork you fill out in your first few days of employment. Look for paperwork indicating ownership of outside work, or intellectual property developed outside of work. Read all documents carefully before signing - consult an attorney before signing a document if necessary.

You have chosen to hide this fact so far, what purpose can be served by disclosing your side job now?

You have already concluded that this fact is worth hiding. You hope, but don't know when (or if) you'll actually be leaving.

Wait until you actually have solid plans to leave. Give the required (or professionally appropriate) notice period, then just leave.

(BTW, anyone working seriously toward launching a startup should have a company attorney, who can help answer these sorts of questions.)

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    Yea, keep an eye out for an 'Assignment of Inventions' document. Read carefully before signing. Most of the ones I've seen specifically exempt projects done outside of work that do not compete with the employer's business, but you never know -- there are horror stories all over the internet about this sort of thing :) – James Adam Mar 11 '15 at 13:10
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    Regarding the 'Assignment of Inventions' - The only way I would consider signing one is if I was getting stock in the company. Otherwise the company can lay claim to my time during normal work hours and that's pretty much it. – NotMe Mar 11 '15 at 18:39
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If they are not asking you to disclose anything and your em[loyment contract does not require you to disclose it, don't volunteer the information. Cans of worms are best left unopened.

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