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E-Commerce, Web Businesses/Should I use my real name for my online business if I have a full time job that may be a conflict of interest?


I am currently working in sales full time. I am also setting up an affiliate marketing business online and may possibly be selling products from my full time jobs competitors. I have taken the time to pay for an LLC and I also applied for an EIN number to eliminate my social being connected to my EIN number. If I would like to Affiliate Blog under my real name for branding are there possible legal ramifications where I could loose my job? I would like to be myself as opposed to a fake sur name online but I'm torn?

Hi Keith,

I'm almost hesitant to answer this question - as I'm not a lawyer - but I will try my best to give insights.  You can have an LLC that owns the domain / web business, and you can be a blogger / author of the website - as your real name.

But, as far as breaking your employment contract - what contract did you sign?  

I would think of it this way:

You work for your current job / company

You're opening a new company (your LLC)

You're hiring yourself in this new LLC

You will compete with your current job / company

Whether you do this as a pen name or as your real name, you need to read the employment contract of your current employer - do they have a non-compete clause?  

I would think they do have something like this in your contract, and therefore I would be very careful about this.

I'm not a lawyer - but I hope this helps break down the situation for you to consider.


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Michael Michelini


selling on ebay, selling on your own website via ecommerce, listing on google adwords, landing pages,


Since 2003 I have been doing marketing and sales for technology companies. In 2004 I started my own online ebay and ecommerce shop. I have fun and good (and bad!) experiences with ebay, amazon, google adwords. In late 2007 I opened a company in China, where I source products for ecommerce as well as build and promote my US and China online shops.

Shadstone Limited - helping American companies build their Chinese Social Media Startup Weekend, Shenzhen, China organizer hero meets hero Chinese Foreign Trade federation

Google adwords certified professional, masters in Tech management, bachelors in engineering management

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Google Adwords Certification eBay powerseller

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