What can I do about a non-compete agreement?

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What can I do about a non-compete agreement?

I have a severance agreement with a former company that states that I my not work for or with a company who’s main function is fishing tackle manufacturing. If I start a company that buys fishing tackle from a factory in China and my companies main service is branding and sales would I be violating that agreement?

Asked on April 21, 2015 under Business Law, Arkansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You need to have an attorney analyze the *exact* language of the agreement in light of the *specific* facts of your employment (what you did for the former company) and your former employer's business/market. If the former employer was a manufacturer which did not directly sell to end users, and you worked primarily in a manufacturing capacity, you may be able to do what you want, because what you propose would not necessarily be competitino with that company. On the other hand, if you worked in a sales/marketing capacity and/or the former company did directly sell to end users, then this may be a violation of yourn non-compete, because you would be competing. The issue, in broad strokes, is whether the new endeavor would be competition or not. However, this is just general advice--since a non-competition agreement is a contract, and all contracts are governed by their precise language or terms, you have to have an attorney analyzer the agreement in detail with you.


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