A non-compete agreement is enforceable if it is reasonable. When you first get hired, a company may ask you to sign one. A non-compete agreement states that if you were to be terminated or quit, you will not set up a company that directly competes. It also may state that you will not gain employment at a company that directly competes. States don’t like non-compete agreements because it restricts a person’s ability to earn a living. However, if the non-compete is protecting certain types of secret information, if it is for a reasonable length of time, or if it is for a reasonable geographic scope, it will often be enforced.
A non-compete that said you can’t form a competing business or go to work for competitor within 1,000 miles of here is not one that would be reasonable. However, if it is one that prohibits starting a business in the county you live in or from the business then that’s something that would be reasonable. The same issue would be at stake also as far as the length of time. If the agreement states an extraordinary amount of time, it will not probably be considered reasonable by the courts. However, if it says a year or two, that may be considered reasonable. Before you sign a non-compete agreement, you should try to figure out what is being restricted, and you may want to speak to an attorney prior to signing to be sure that it is not a non-compete that will come back to bite you at the end of your employment.
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