Would a non-compete agreement be enforceable if I were to provide pro-bono training or services?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Would a non-compete agreement be enforceable if I were to provide pro-bono training or services?

I am about to begin training as a dive instructor Open water scuba and dive master. My instructor trainer has asked that before I begin, I sign a non-compete agreement with him so I don’t set up shop within the area after completion of my training. I do not wish to do this for many people mind you, just my wife and my brother in-law.

Asked on March 28, 2017 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it would most likely be enforceable against you. 
"Compete" does not necessarily mean "profit or make money by doing"--it means to provide or help to provide a service or product which could take away clients/customers from the other party (e.g. the instructor) to the agreement. So providing pro bono training etc. could still pull business from him, which is competition. 

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