Seattle & Washington Non – Compete Agreements
Non-compete agreements protect important assets, yet they are frequently overbroad.
A non-competition agreement, which is often referred to simply as a “non-compete” or covenant not to compete, is a contract where one party agrees to refrain from competing with another party, often after employment ends or the sale of a business.
Washington State law applies specific standards in determining the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Defending your business’s trade secrets or goodwill in a dispute involving a non-compete agreement requires thorough knowledge of local rules and judicial precedent. Your attorney’s experience and meticulous preparation can make the difference in achieving a satisfactory resolution. Our attorneys at Rocke Law Group have litigated many non-compete cases and will work hard to defend your business. Mr. Rocke has taught seminars to lawyers and an accredited class to law students on the subject of non-compete agreements.
In the case of employment contracts
Non-compete agreements are sometimes included in employment contracts. They are intended as protection against competition in the case that an employee with knowledge of trade secrets, business plans, or other privileged information leaves or is terminated.
In the case of selling a business
Non-compete agreements are also sometimes signed when businesses are sold. The new owners have an interest in protecting their acquisition from competition by the previous owners.
Non-competes in Washington State
The enforceability of non-compete agreements varies from state to state. Non-compete agreements are enforceable in Washington State if the terms are deemed reasonable, i.e. there is no excessive restriction upon trade or the former employee’s ability to find new employment.
In general, the following considerations are used in determining whether the terms of a non-compete agreement are reasonable:
- Nature of activities and/or employment that is restricted;
- Length of time such restrictions apply; and the
- Size of the geographic area in which restrictions apply.
Special rules apply to doctors and lawyers.
Dignity at work
Protecting you & your business…
Business owners, possibly more than ever, are facing numerous challenges. From creating safe and effective work environments and protecting the rights of your employees to protecting your own rights and maintaining a healthy operation, times are tough. Laws change, public opinions change, and you will be forced to adapt and evolve or go extinct. We can help. Give us a call and let’s build a plan and strategy best suited to protect you and your business.
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