Can a non-compete agreement from a web based company prevent me from working in my field or starting my own company?

UPDATED: Mar 27, 2012

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Can a non-compete agreement from a web based company prevent me from working in my field or starting my own company?

I’m a certified resume writer currently and for the last 10 years been working for a national web based resume writing co. I’m a contracted worker who signed a non compete agreement restricting me from writing resumes for profit for two years after ending my employment with them. I am want to work for another company or even starting my own resume writing business. Can a non-compete completely prevent being able to write resumes professionally even though this is my chosen profession and would effectively prevent me from making a living?

Asked on March 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Non-competition agreements are enforceable in Texas. The fact that they prevent an employee from working in his/her chosen field does not prevent them from being enforced--that, after all, is the entire point of a non-competition agreement.

However, courts will "blue pencil," or reduce in scope, a non-competition agreement if it is found to be too broad or too long in effect. As a rough rule of thumb, two years is too long--generally, for the vast majority of employees, a non-competition agreement will be enforced for up to around one year.

You should bring the agreement to an employment law attorney to review with you, to get a sense for how enforceable it is and what your options are. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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