How do I get out of a non-compete agreement?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I get out of a non-compete agreement?

I am a contract employee for a LLC company in New York. I live in Idaho.

The company hired me to teach painting classes. I want to do freelance painting classes on my own, but there is a non-compete agreement.

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are in ID, the agreement would be enforced according to ID law (since that is presumably where would engage in any competitive activity), unless the agreement itself specifies a different state's laws to apply. (Contracts, including non-competition agreements, may designate the state's law to apply, and such "choice of law" provisions are legal and enforceable. 
ID wil enforce non-competition agreements IF the employee's activity can be shown to harm some legitimate business interest of the employer. They are not enforced if there is no effect on the employer. So if you taught painting in a context where there is no competition with this NY company and its activities and no potential economic harm to them (e.g. you are not taking away potential customers of theirs), you will not be violating the agreement in any way that ID courts will enforce.

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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