Home – New Forums Starting your journey Poaching Clients

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #988860
    Derrick Watson
    Member
    • Total posts: 1
    Up
    0
    ::

    I am looking to set up my own accounting business soon and want to know if there is any reason that I can’t take clients with me. I also have never signed an employment contract.

    Can my employer prevent me from contacting the clients?

    #1169296
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,566
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Derrick,

    Welcome to the forums!

    A very tricky situation indeed – to start with definitely check out this recent thread didcussing the same issue…

    http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/starting-business/28842-poaching-clients.html

    Good luck!

    Dave

    #1169297
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
    Up
    0
    ::

    If you don’t have a non compete clause in your agreement, I don’t see why they can’t follow you. Just be sure you don’t do anything in their time to contact them. I would get their names and addresses and send them a letter after you have left letting them know your new number and so on.

    Just be careful as all information does belong to your current employer and you could be charged with stealing…

    #1169298
    KM Web Designer
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hey Everyone,

    What about if the non-compete agreement signed during employment doesn’t give a time frame? My previous employment contract was a single line, something along the lines of “must not undertake work for any clients after employment” and did not give a time at all.

    A client has approached me directly as they know that I am freelancing. I am still doing their work through my previous employer, but on a freelance basis.

    Would this be enforceable? It has been nearly 6 months since I was an employee

    Cheers,
    Klaye

    #1169299
    alliedib
    Member
    • Total posts: 453
    Up
    0
    ::
    KM Web Designer, post: 204911 wrote:
    What about if the non-compete agreement signed during employment doesn’t give a time frame? My previous employment contract was a single line, something along the lines of “must not undertake work for any clients after employment” and did not give a time at all.

    If you signed an open-ended restraint clause, then it is implied that you agreed to the open-ended nature of the contract. Probably best to get some legal advice because, although you can’t necessarily be restrained from earning a living, do you want the hassle that may come from working for your previous employers clients?

    KM Web Designer, post: 204911 wrote:
    A client has approached me directly as they know that I am freelancing. I am still doing their work through my previous employer, but on a freelance basis.

    Would this be enforceable? It has been nearly 6 months since I was an employee

    Think of these two figures:
    1) Income that can be gained from working direct with this client; and
    2) Income lost by your current principal (previous employer) terminating your contract for ‘cutting out the middleman’

    If 1 > 2 and you can handle the ‘bad publicity’ that can be generated by a messy breakup, then go for it.

    Regards,

    Mark

    PS – I have seen a lot of client poaching in my industry (thankfully I have never been the poacher or the poachee) and it rarely ends well….

    #1169300
    JacquiPryor
    Member
    • Total posts: 2,344
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Klaye,

    I agree that legal advice is needed. Particularly, determining the exact wording of the agreement you signed.

    You’ve said in this post

    something along the lines of “must not undertake work for any clients after employment”

    In another post you used different wording, suggesting the sentence was along the lines that you must not approach clients with the intention of obtaining work etc.

    There could be a big difference between not being able to undertake work, and not approaching clients with the intentions to do work. If the clause says you can’t approach them, then there could be scope for you undertaking the work if they’ve approached you. If the wording is actually that you must not undertake work (irrespective of who contacted who) the legal position might be different.

    #1169301
    arrowwise
    Member
    • Total posts: 641
    Up
    0
    ::

    I’d be very careful with formally contacting previous clients – whether there is a non compete agreement in place or not.

    For example if you keep your same mobile number as you had in the previous job after you leave, it is lot easier for ex clients to indirectly follow you.

    If you send out formal letters advising of the situation, the safest bet is to obtain explicit permission from your old work place.

    If a client contacts you on their own volition, then I feel that would be OK.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.