Founders

Non-competes with former employers


On October 1, 2018, significant changes to the law governing non-competition agreements in Massachusetts became effective. If you are considering such an agreement, please consult with an attorney. For a summary of the new law, see this WilmerHale Client Alert.

Non-competition agreements may be enforceable, depending on the state in which the employee lived and worked when the agreement was signed, the consideration (value) given in exchange for the agreement and the reasonableness of the restrictions in the agreement. 

In some states, such as California, non-competes are not generally enforceable (other than in the context of a sale of the company). And as of October 1, 2018, Massachusetts significantly restricted the use of non-competes. In most states, however, they are enforceable if they are reasonable in scope. Ultimately, whether a non-compete agreement is enforceable depends on the specific facts and circumstances and language in the particular agreement. If you violate a valid non-compete, your former employer may be able to obtain money damages, an injunction or both. Therefore, if you have questions about whether your agreement is enforceable or whether pursuing your new venture would cause you to violate your non-compete, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney.

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