There are a bunch of things to consider here. First things first, go talk to an attorney as it seems your ownership of the startup is at risk. There are numerous factors that could determine your answer so I’ll just name a few:
- Your company’s employment policies. See what your employment handbook says regarding personal use during work time. Also, try and remember if you signed any separate documents when you first began working (like an assignment of invention agreement). If you don’t remember then possibly reach out to a former employee who you trust and ask him/her.
- Your particular state’s laws as some states are more protective of employees in this situation.
- When you used your employer’s resources. You’re probably better off if it was before or after work, or during your lunch break.
- Whether your startup is or will be in competition with your employer.