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I am joining a company full-time next week and I am also working on my own start-up idea in parallel with few people.

There is some related and closed discussion here on this but all the answers are about company specific contract and region specific laws.

Starting a company in spare time whilst employed full time?

However, my question is assuming it is clear from legal and contract perspective (which most likely will be the case but I will make sure), when is the right time and how to tell my soon-to-be employer (or just employer for that matter), that I am planning/working on my own start-up as well. Irrespective of what is in contract, I want to do what is professionally correct thing to do.

Also, nothing I build in my start-up will compete with this company and I can make sure I do not use their time/facility/softwares to do anything for my company.

To give more context to this, this company I am joining is itself a small 5-year old company with very informal and friendly attitude. I am already well connected to the team and the founding members and have regular discussions with them. So I just feel that I should probably tell them now or as soon as I join. Since the culture is mostly friendly, it would be very weird if I suddenly tell after few years that I have been working on my own company for this long. But I also think that may be I should see if the start-up idea is working out at all or not.

  • If the company says you cannot do any parallel work while you are employed with them, or if it is so happens that you get burned out due to the additional work done outside work hours, are you willing to quit the job (or the startup)? – Masked Man Apr 9 '17 at 5:26
  • If the company says they do not prefer me working on something else, I would probably keep the job and shelf the start up for now. (They have been pretty accommodating so far, so do not want to burn that relationship). That is why I am afraid of asking! If I am not able to handle working extra hours, then I will just make a decision based on where I stand on the start-up. The best case if I see some success with it in next year or two, then I take it up full time. – PagMax Apr 9 '17 at 5:41
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Legal issues aside, I don't know that there is really a "right way" to tell them. Be honest with your intentions and discuss so that there is no confusion. If it's completely unrelated I would think the main concern is that you disappear on them or are not reliable as your interests are divided. If you are able to re-assure them that you are serious about making their company successful in any way you can and that you will disclose any and all COI that arise from working both at the same time I don't see an issue. You say

I am already well connected to the team and the founding members and have regular discussions with them.

so I don't see any reason you can't just call a specific meeting to discuss it with them. I would come up with answers to questions you think they will ask first so you are ready to address them as well as address any fears they might have.

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If you're going in to business for yourself there's no need to be informing them at all until such time as you can move forwards with your own business and you're ready to leave. It's not strictly the most ethical way to do it perhaps. But owning a business is about making money not ethics at it's most basic. Telling them may be fine or not, but there is no chance of it being positive for your future business and some chance of it being negative to your plans.

I left my last full time employment and registered a business, moved into a workshop and started working the same day.

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when is the right time and how to tell my soon-to-be employer (or just employer for that matter), that I am planning/working on my own start-up as well. I

When you are ready to leave in order to work at your own startup.

Assuming there are no legal or contractual issues (as you stated in your question), you simply give your notice as you would for any other job, serve out the notice period, then leave.

I am also assuming that there is no conflict with the culture and norms of your new employer. For example, if your new role requires working every other weekend but you would prefer to work on your startup, that is a conflict. In that case, you'll either need to defer your startup work or ask if your role can be changed.

But in general, there's no need to make this any more complicated - again assuming that there are no legal or contractual issues. If it were me, I'd run the contract and plans by my lawyer first and have them check my assumptions.

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