The restrictions on non-compete agreements relate to the possibility that an unreasonable non-compete may constitute restraint of trade or the attempt to create a monopoly.
U.S. State Laws Concerning Non-Compete Agreements
Here is a listing of U.S. states which disallow or restrict non-compete agreements. The information is the result of prior court cases litigated in each state, and in some cases is based on state laws. ("NCA" stands for Non-compete Agreement.) This listing was current as of October 2009 but you should check with your state to see if there have been changes:
- Arizona - not allowed for broadcast employees
- California - "every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void."
- Delaware - not allowed for physicians
- Florida - disallowed in "any contract ..." (see California language)
- Georgia - NCA's are enforceable if they restrain "in a reasonable manner"
- Hawaii - NCA's are enforceable unless their effect is to lessen competition or create a monopoly
- Illinois - Not allowed for broadcasting employees
- Louisiana - "every contract" is null and void
- Maine - broadcasting situations presumed unreasonable
- Massachusetts - contracts involving broadcasting personnel deemed void and unenforceable
- Missouri - NCA is enforceable if it meets "statutory criteria" elsewhere in MO code
- Montana - NCA acceptable in sale of goodwill of a business or in a partnership dissolution
- New Hampshire - unfair to impose "unreasonable restrictions" on motor vehicle dealer or franchisee
- New York - "every contract" unenforceable; broadcasting - can't require as a condition of employment
- North Dakota - unenforceable in every contract except a contract for sale of a business or the dissolution of a partnership
- Oklahoma - can't make NCA a precondition of employment, but can keep employee from direct soliciation of established customer of former employer
- Oregon - NCA customers of former employers / "voidable" unless meets specific requirements laid out in Oregon code
- South Carolina - trade secret agreement not void, unenforceable or against public policy if it doesn't include durational or geographic limits ????
- South Dakota - in business sale (goodwill) may agree to refrain from carrying on similar business / partnership in dissolution / ok in employment agreements
- Texas NCA enforceable if ancillary to an otherwise enforceable agreement at the time the agreement was made
- Washington - NCA void/unenforceable if employee is terminated without just cause or is laid off (in broadcasting industry)
- Wisconsin - NC covenant by assistant, servant, or agent is lawful
- Guam - void if restrains person from exercising lawful profession, trade, or business