The Non-Compete Clause: Is it Enforceable?


Do the circumstances warrant a Non-Compete Agreement?

Whether you require a Non-Compete Agreement depends on your circumstances and your state’s laws. You aren’t legally required to sign a Non-Compete Agreement just for the sake of it.

The agreement needs to actually be necessary for it to be enforceable. This means you should be in a position with the company to obtain confidential information or trade secrets. If you aren’t in a place to do so, you also aren’t in a position to leak sensitive information to another company. In this case, the Non-Compete Agreement restricts your future work prospects for no reason.

Sometimes the validity of the agreement is based on the circumstances you left the company under. For example, if you have access to sensitive information and leave the company of your own free will, the Non-Compete is enforceable (to the extent that the restrictions are reasonable). If you’re let go by the company, the restrictions placed on you by the agreement may be limited.

Before you sign a Non-Compete Agreement, ask yourself where you see yourself in a few years and how the document will affect that vision. If the time and geographical restrictions are too broad, or you’re simply not in a position to gather sensitive company information, speaking up in the moment and making adjustments to the agreement may save you a headache and legal fees down the road.


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