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About 2 years ago two others and I started a LLP specializing in SaaS development. As all of us have jobs beside the LLP all of us dedicate about 8-16 hours a week, which has been working fairly well with the amount of clients we had.

Today however, one of the companions just told us he now owns another company, which he established himself within a competitive branch without any prior notice.

He said this was due to his new job, which required him to be a freelancer. And we as companions had nothing to do with this, so he didn't bother to even tell us.

I don't fear for our company's secrets, as those are protected by our underlying contract. However I feel like he should have informed us beforehand at very least.

I am uncertain how to respond to said companion, and am uncertain if I am just overreacting to it. Should I just leave it be? Or if not, how can I properly respond to this behaviour?

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    is this really a business like the one you're running, or a separate sole-proprietor thing just created for the "job"? If the latter, it's no more a competition than all the jobs you hold. – Kate Gregory Jun 22 '17 at 12:37
  • But you knew about the new job? So in a way, you knew he was doing the work this company is now doing? – skymningen Jun 22 '17 at 12:46
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    Was there anything about this in the contract you guys have wrt your LLP? – Erik Jun 22 '17 at 12:51
  • @skymningen He told us he would be getting a new job. Never informed us of what, nor did we care to much as that should be covered by our previous contracts. – dxm Jun 22 '17 at 12:53
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    @dxm that means nothing to me. But don't explain it. My question is "did he start the new company as a way for his job (you knew about) to pay him, or is this a third use of his time after the job and the business you share?" – Kate Gregory Jun 22 '17 at 13:10
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From your description "He said this was due to his new job, which required him to be a freelancer. And we as companions had nothing to do with this, so he didn't bother to even tell us."

It sounds like your co-owner (and friend?) did not believe this is a significant event, and he has discussed this on some level with you.

I would consider if you have other problems in the relationship, it may be necessary to respond with all of the co-owners (not just this one) by having a meeting and determining if your business venture is favorable. The saying in the USA, "if there is smoke there is fire" could be applicable (if you already know there is a problem this is just one more example of the problem). Meeting and either fixing the underlying problems in the business relationship (possibly with an arbitrator present) or severing the business would seem appropriate.

If you do not have other problems in the relationship, it could be just a cultural perception on your part--- you feel you were close and should have been informed, however, he did not inform you... if this is just disappointment that you do no know a detail in his life he considers small, then perhaps you would be more comfortable attempting to increase your contact/friendship (spending more time communicating and by virtue knowing more of the small details)--- if you are feeling somewhat offended by his actions, it's possible you are just feeling isolated from him... I would consider increasing contact in this case (going out to dinner, increasing phone conversations, increasing chat, etc) and refreshing the friendship.

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