If I signed a non-disclosure/compete when I got hired but want to open my own business, do I have to comply.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I signed a non-disclosure/compete when I got hired but want to open my own business, do I have to comply.

I work for a pest company and the name of the company isn’t the name on my pay stubs or my W2. Does this void a non-compete that I signed? The non-compete also says that I can’t work within 30 miles of exclusive territory. How does territory become exclusive to one company only?

Asked on March 25, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The name on the W2 or paystubs is irrelevant: many companies process payroll under one name but it's not the name they otherwise market or do business under. It's it clear who the company was, the fact that the name on the agreement doesn't match the W2 or paystub means nothing.
The territory is "exclusive" because in signing the agreement, you agreed that, for this purpose, it is exclusive; that agreement is binding on you.

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