Can a business legally forbid customers from working at a competitor?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a business legally forbid customers from working at a competitor?

We are contracting with a local business and our contract is up for renewal if it matters, we are boarding our horse at a stable. The owners are rewriting the contract to say that we are forbidden from having dealings with any of their competitors and, more concerning, that our child is forbidden from even taking a part-time job at a competitor. Is this really legal?

P.S. If there is an applicable statute, I would be interested to know the specifics so that we can cite it.

Asked on September 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. People may enter into any contracts they like so long as there is not some law (e.g. statute) specifically making it illegal, and there is no law prohibiting a business and its customers restricting the customer's contacts with, use of, working for, etc. competitors (unless anti-trust issues existed, but they would not exist in a case like this). If you understandably do not like this restriction, then don't sigb up again and find another stable.

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