If I want to start a business in the same industry I work in, what are my limitations. My company set spacific guidelines on the type of accounts they handle and I want to address the ones that the company doesn't want. Am I within my rights to pursue these accounts as long as I'm not taking from nor approaching current customers? The company recently went through a major down sizing. and laid off over 40% of the work force making my job more demanding and I feel this would supplement my income. I do know of others in my position that have taken positions with companys that are direct competitor with no repercussions.
The answer is "it depends." The law applicable to your non-compete may be spelled out in the non-compete. Otherwise the applicable law is likely PA law. The question is what does the non compete say? What are its restrictions? Would your new venture violate them?
If you are truly pursuing business that your current employer does not want, then you are arguably not competing. However, that depends on the language of the document.. Non-compete agreements are enforceable in PA and elsewhere so long as they are reasonable in terms of geography and time limits.
You should have a lawyer review the document before launching your new business. Feel free to contact me or you can get lawyers' names from the Allegheny county Bar Association.
Admitted in DC, MD, OH, PA