Most people start their first company while they still have a day job. It makes sense: You don’t need loans. You don’t need funding. And if you “fail,” all you’ve lost is time.
But you’ve also placed yourself in a hazardous – potentially legally ambiguous – situation. If managed improperly, you’re unnecessarily risking lawsuits and worse.
I’ve been on both sides of the table: I’ve done a startup while working and I’ve employed people who either were or are very capable of having their own startup on the side. And I’ve known people who were sued because of it, and not all of them won.
Recognizing in advance that I’m not a lawyer – and that none of this qualifies as legal advice – here are my tips for how to pull off the balancing act:
Pick a business that can thrive within your constraints – Your side venture has constraints a “normal” business doesn’t have:
- You can’t answer the phone during normal business hours.
- You can’t answer emails during normal business hours.
- You can’t afford to hire three developers to add features and bugs.
- You have to work in fits and spurts …
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