Is an 18 year old non-compete agreement enforceable?

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Is an 18 year old non-compete agreement enforceable?

When I was hired I signed a contract agreeing to not open a similar business within a 25 mile range of our office. Now I want to open my own company using my home address but working in the same general area. The buisness I work for has relocated their office out of state but we still work in the area. Is the contract still binding?

Asked on April 15, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have strong arguments for challenging the enforceability of the non-competitive agreement if you open your home business and the company takes legal action against you.

To be enforceable, the non-competitive agreement has to be reasonable in terms of scope, duration, and proximity.  A court can limit the effect of the non-competitive agreement by modifying its terms.

In your case, the non-competitive agreement should no longer be enforceable since the company has moved out of state and therefore, your home business is more than 25 miles from the company office.  More importantly, the non-competitive agreement has to be of reasonable duration.  It is unreasonable for the company to claim that the non-competitive agreement is still in effect after eighteen years.


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