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Can a Non-Compete Stop Me From Starting My Own Business?

The employee lawyers at Gould & Berg in White Plains, NY, we have many clients who come to us who have worked for employers and have signed a non-compete agreement which may have a solicitation in it, and these employee want to start their own business.  The question now is will that non compete affect their ability to do so. When we meet with this employee, we are first going to review the agreement that they have signed. and much of our response is going to depend on the provisions of that agreement. That agreement may have had a non-compete clause that says they can’t compete with their specific business area, their particular geographical area and it might also have a non-soliciting clause, which might include soliciting customers of their employer and might include soliciting employees of the former employer to come and work for them. So, we look at all of those provisions and we then examine what it is the client is proposing to do in their new business venture and whether we think they are at risk of being sued.  The key is whether he is at risk because the courts interpret their various non-compete agreements in various ways and it’s often difficult to predict exactly how that kind of litigation is going to end.

This informational blog post was provided by Jane Gould, an experienced New York Employee Lawyer.

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