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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


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

Answered 6 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.

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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