Legal Question in Business Law in Minnesota

New Business Sales Leads and Contacts VS Previous Employer

Ihave started a business using sales leads and contacts I acquired at my previous employers. I acquired the sales leads on my own time, but made the contacts during business hours at my employers. I recently started my own business using those sales leads and I am contact customers I previously did business with. My previous employer would like me to return my sales leads back to them and do not want me contacting customers I had done any business with while I had been with them. I contend that I have every right to contact my previous business customers and make calls from sales leads that I acquired on my own time. If I am taken to court on this matter, what rights do I have protecting those business sales leads and customers?

Asked on 4/17/01, 9:49 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Kelly-952-544-6356 Kelly Law Office

Re: New Business Sales Leads and Contacts VS Previous Employer

The kind of situation you have here is usually governed by a written employment contract. It would have provisions about keeping the employer's information confidential and about devoting your full time to promoting your employer's interests.

Without a written contract, you are in somewhat better shape. You should be able to use leads you devloped on your own after work hours. I see a problem in your story, however, in the part where you cultivated some of the leads on your former employer's time. Those contacts may now be tainted, and the only safe thing you may be able to do is to at least give your previous employer back those contacts.

This type of situation has too many variables for this answer to be of much value, and you really need a face to face consultation with a lawyer who is competent in this area.

Good luck.

This response is for general information purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult the attorney of your choice concerning the details of your case.

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Answered on 6/12/01, 1:00 pm

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