Is a Canadian non-compete/solicitation agreement valid in the US?

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Is a Canadian non-compete/solicitation agreement valid in the US?

What if the customer solicited you?

Asked on September 4, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a Canadian noncompetition agreement would be enforceable in the United States the U.S. will enforce contracts entered into in other nations. It will enforce them according to U.S. law, but since the U.S. generally enforces non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, that is not a problem. As to the effect of the customer soliciting you--that depends on what exactly the agreement says. A contract, including a non-competition or -solicitation agreement, is enforced according to its plain terms. If the agreement states only that you cannot solicit the customer, but does not state that you can't work for them, then you should be able to work for them, assuming you can prove if necessary that you did not encourage them to reach out to you in some way. On the other hand, if the agreement says that you can't work for or with any of the customers of your former employer, then you cannot, regardless of who contacted who.


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