How long is a non-compete good for?

Signed a non-compete 9 years ago. Is this still valid? I work in sales for a manufacturing representative in the technology industry. Ownership has changed, manufacturers we represent have changed, pay plans have changed, etc. Am I still tied down to this company or do I have a chance of moving to another

company in the same city with better pay, benefits, insurance, etc.?

Asked on April 20, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are several elements that must exist in order for a non-compete agreemnt to be enforceable in TX. They are: it be ancillary to or part of otherwise enforceable agreement at the time it is made; protect a legitimate business interest; be reasonable as to limitations of the scope of the activity to be restrained; not be verly broad in terms of geographical limitations; and contain reasonable limitations as to its duration. Specifically, as to how long is reasonable for a non-compete to be enforceable, the courts disfavor non-competes that last more than 1 year (although this is highly dependent on the facts and circumstances). That having been said, 9 years would appear to be of unreasonable duration. To be certain of your right, you should consult directly with a local lawyer would can review your agreement and best advise you further. 

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