How do I know if the non-compete I signed legal?

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How do I know if the non-compete I signed legal?

I currently reside in the U.S and work as an independent contractor for a company in the UK. When I started with them, I signed a non compete clause stating I would not do work for any of their clients outside of their company on my own while working for them or for up to 2 years after terminating my contract. Since working for them for some time, many of the clients I work with through them have asked me to do work for them outside of the company. The company

charges them a very high hourly rate which I get a very small percentage of. Many of these clients could use my services outside of the company, pay less per hour and I would get all of those funds. Are non-competes really legal? If I were to terminate my contract with them and then work with these clients within the 2 year timeframe, is that non-compete really something they can enforce?

Asked on July 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Non-competitive agreements are legal if they are limited in time, scope and geographic proximity.
It would appear that the non-competitive agreement you signed satisfies these criteria.
If you do violate the non-competitive agreement and are sued by the company, it is possible that a judge might limit the non-competitive agreement's duration, scope or geographic proximity; however, I wouldn't count on that occurring because as stated above, this particular non-competitive agreement appears to satisfy those criteria.


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