I am currently generating the majority of my income from providing freelance support, development and consultancy time to users of another companies software product. I work directly with companies who are licensed to use the product and also through "distributors" that are permitted to use and sell the software. In this capacity I have access to software and documentation that is available to all distributors and license holders but would not be available to competitors. I am now actively developing my own product that will compete directly with the other companies product. I have very little in the way of contractual restrictions with my employers and certainly nothing that prevents me from producing a competing product.
I can't afford not to work for the 6-12 months it's likely to take to get my product off the ground and it's also hard for me to avoid this existing product (and other similar products) because they are so prevalent in the sector that I work and because I have spent the last 10 years specialising in them.
I'm financially prepared to cease my contracts once we go public but am concerned that I might be opening my company up to future litigation by continuing to work so closely with the competition without being open about my own plans. Any thoughts?