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Negotiating a Non-Compete: Eight Tips for Curbing Employer Excess

Covenants not to compete (often called "non-competes") are becoming more prevalent in employment relationships. Here are just a few tips on how to negotiate them so as to reduce their negative impact on your mobility and career potential.

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Non-competes are a difficult area of the law. Whether or not they are enforceable usually depends on the attending facts and circumstances, not only at the time the agreement is signed but also when enforcement is sought. It also depends on the specific language used in the covenant. To figure out whether a post-employment restrictive covenant in an employment agreement is both lawful and reasonable, you need the advice of a lawyer who knows the law of restrictive covenants in the state whose laws govern your agreement (which isn’t necessarily the state in which you will be working). Challenging a non-compete agreement after you’ve signed it will usually always be a much more expensive proposition.

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