Are non-compete agreements signed in one state legally binding in another?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011Fact Checked

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Are non-compete agreements signed in one state legally binding in another?

I signed a non-compete agreement for a company in NC 4 years ago. The company is based in NC and I’m an outside sales rep based out in TX and work out of my home and cover the whole state. The agreement is based only on NC law to the best of my understanding. Before I took this job I worked for this company’s largest competitor for 2 years and since they did not ask me to sign a non-compete that was never an issue.

Asked on July 27, 2011 Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Please take your agreement to an attorney to review.  When you say that it is based upon North Carolina law you mean the following:

 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.

However, you live in Texas and in recent years, Texas has gone from being a very anti-non compete-agreement state to a relatively pro-enforcement state.  The company would seek to enforce the agreement against you in Texas and it is my understanding that there has been relatively new case law on the subject.  So go and see an attorney.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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