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

Answers:

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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