Can a non-compete agreement be enforced on an independent contractor/freelancer?

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Can a non-compete agreement be enforced on an independent contractor/freelancer?

What are the limitations of a non-compete? If a business wanted to enforce a non-compete agreement, could it just be written as an agreement between business and independent contractor or does that conflict with the “control” factor of an employee being misclassified as an independent contractor?

Asked on January 26, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A non-compete is a contract: if an independent contractor or freelancer agrees to it (e.g. signs it), it can be enforced against him or her, the same way any contract he or she enters into can be enforced against him or her. And a non-compete does not make an independent contractor an employee; the "control" imposed by a non-compete is not the type of control that renders one an employee, since it does not go to directing how the person performs work for the company/business.


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