What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
Non-compete Agreements are a promise by an employee not to take another job or engage in a business that competes with the employer’s business; in return for that promise the employer offers a tangible benefit to the employee.
Agreements may also limit whether an employee may solicit other employees to leave the business.
In general a valid non-competition agreement in North Carolina will have to:
- be in writing;
- be reasonable in scope, duration and territory;
- protect a legitimate business interest;
- be consistent with public policy
- offer the employee something in return for the employee’s promise not to compete with the employer.
The employer’s offer of a job itself can serve as the consideration for the employee’s promise not to compete if the agreement is reached before the employee begins working.
Before you sign a contract, there are opportunities to negotiate. It’s a good idea to consult with an attorney who has experience in negotiating contracts. If you’ve already signed a contract and are concerned about the constraints the agreement places on you, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney who understands what provisions our courts will and will not enforce.