Starting a business whilst working at a big software company? [Intern - Grad]

by CryptoUni. Posted on Sep 17, 2020    1    1


I am currently interning at one of the biggest tech companies in the world (think FB/GOOGLE/CISCO/IBM/APPLE), I have been working here for close to a year now, and will be continuing for another year as an intern whilst I carry on with my studies.

The plan is to bring me after I graduate as a graduate developer.

I have been working on my sideproject for the past 3 years however. I am releasing an application for my sideproject onto the google play store and app store, ideally underneath a business name, not my personal name.

To do this, I need to file for a company (not just for this reason, I've been employing people/generating revenue and want to disclose this information also)

I have told my boss however, that one of my modules in my final year of university is to create an application and release it as an official business as part of a Software Dev / Business fused module.

He said that is perfectly fine, I would need to curate a document for him explaining the idea, so that he could run through it with his boss and give me the O.K (to make sure it does infringe on my contract or compete with CompanyX)

He did however say that a previouse grad went through this process and was rejected, so just be aware this may happen.

He said, my options then would be to just quit or give up on this "module".

I'm wondering what my options are.

I have proof that I bought the domain to my sideproject 3 years ago, I have plenty of development history stored in git showing development and release of the side project happened long before my employment with companyX.

Can I just go ahead and file for an LLC, and not tell anyone / worry about anything.


MadInventorOnAHill 1

You're getting into murky legal stuff and there are no generic answers.

Start with your company's written conflict of interest policy and see what it says about what notice you have to give your employer. It can vary a lot - mine have been everything from "don't tell us unless it could be seen to compete with your job" to "tell us if you are a decision maker anywhere else, either an owner or a stockholder in a nonpublic company". (Interestingly, the later means you have to tell them if you're on the board of a charity...)

Once you know what the requirement is, you can decide if you need to do anything.
Do make sure you're getting the actual policy, not what your boss thinks it is. This might involve having to ask HR.

Also, depending on the complexity of the policy, you may want to consider consulting an employment attorney with expertise in this area. It'll probably cost you a few hundred, but you'll be certain of what you have to do and what the limits are.