Is my non-compete agreement still valid even if it was under the company’s old name?

I have a non-compete agreement with my company, against the company’s older name. Since then, the company changed it’s name since they became part of a different company. I do not know if it was merger, or a purchase. My non-compete does say “company XXX and and its affiliates and subsidiaries”. Would it be enforceable?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it will almost certainly be enforceable. A company's name has no bearing whatsoever on the enforceability of its contracts--companies change names all the time. Also, the ownership of the company generally has no bearing--stock is sold, companies merge, etc. without necessarily affecting the validity of contracts. ONLY if the company was sold in an asset purchase (not stock) deal AND in doing so, the buyer did not take over contracts--which is a VERY rare case--might the noncompete not be enforceable on that ground.

On the other hand, noncompetes must be reasonable, given the industry and you job/level, in terms of geographic scope and length. If you feel the noncompete is too long or too broad, bring it to an attorney who can review it for you.


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