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Generally, the answer is no. Customer lists may qualify for “trade secret” protection under North Dakota law. Customer lists, lead lists, social media followers and the like qualify under this law. If you leave your employer and take this information with you to start a competing business, a civil lawsuit is likely to be started against you. Then you will have liability exposure, time, expense, and fees to deal with. Not only that, but if a judgment is entered against you for provable money damages, you could lose some of your assets. Starting a business from the ground up without any leads can be hard. But you should know that there are ways to generate customers other than taking lists from your former employer. If you have any questions about how to start a business, or if something is protected under North Dakota’s Trade Secret Act, contact us here at Fargo Patent & Business Law. Our phone is 701-566-7571 or contact us through our website: www.fargopatentlaw.com