Can an independent contractor be subject to a non-compete?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an independent contractor be subject to a non-compete?

I have been renting space from another doctor and he wrote the contract as if I was an independent contractor. We share the same space but I have my own staff paperwork and treat my own patients. He does not help me get patients. In fact I do not have a sign or a phone line. All my patients come from word of mouth. Now I wantto leave and he is trying to enforce the 7 mile non-compete for 2 years. Will it hold up? In PA.

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it will hold up. While people typically think of non-competition (or non-solicitation) agreements in the employer-employee context, when you get down to it, a non-competition agreement is nothing more or less than a contract. Any two parties may enter into any contract to do anything which is not inherently illegal. (e.g. no contracts for tax evasion.) There is nothing inherently illegal about agreeing to not compete with someone; indeed, it's actually more common than you might think for someone to insist that a contractor or subcontractor sign such an agreement, as way to avoid letting that contractor "steal" clients or market share. While it's possible there is some problem with this specific agreement which will prevent or limit its enforceability (and you should therefore have it reviewed by an attorney), as a general matter, this kind of agreement is enforceable.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption