Do you want to exit a non-compete but don’t know how? If YES, here is a complete guide on how to get out of a non-compete agreement legally in 5 simple steps.
If you are an employee who is working in an organization that has the power and potential to empower you with top notch in-house training and also other training exposures outside the shores of your country, then you are likely not going to escape from signing a non – compete agreement clause with them.
The truth is that no organization will want to invest in you and expose you to their trade secrets and then allow you to go set up a similar business. Most organizations ensure that they minimize competition hence the need to enact the non – compete agreement clause.
What is a Non-compete Agreement?
Non – compete agreement is a HR term used when an employee upon employment into an organization or prior to attending a training sign a document that will make it illegal to start similar business or work with a competitor in the future. Some organization may restrict the business to a geographical zone or within a period of time when the employee leaves the organization.
No doubt every entrepreneur would love to start a business in the field of their training and in most cases if they have worked in any organization prior to starting their business, then they must ensure that they get out of any compete agreement clause that they have signed previously with their employers if any.
If you start a similar business with your former organization and are yet to get out of the non – compete agreement that you signed with them, you could be sued. That is why you must ensure that you sort out any agreement that will restrict you from pursuing the business you are passionate about.
Now let us consider the steps to follow to be able to get out of non – compete agreement clause in order to freely start your own business even if it is same trade with your previous organization;
How to Get Out of a Non–Compete Agreement Legally
1. Make Sure You Read and Understand the Non – Compete Agreement Document before Appending Your Signature
The first and most important step you need to take in order to get out of non compete agreement is to ensure that you read and understand the document before signing it. The truth is that many people fall into this trap because they fail to read the terms and conditions attached to the contract they signed.
Even if it means giving the non – compete agreement document to a legal practitioner to help you read, interpret and advice, please do it. Once you know the loopholes in a non – compete agreement clause, it makes it easier for you to get out of it without stress.
2. Ensure that You Leave the Organization on a Clean Note
If you entered into a non – compete agreement with your employer and you intend leaving the organization to start a business in the same industry, then you must ensure that you leave on a clean note. The truth is that it is difficult for an employer to enforce the non – compete agreement clause against you when they know that you have been a faithful and diligent employee whilst with them. Most often than not, organizations will temper judgment with mercy especially if you are not going after their clients.
3. Move to a Location Where the Non – Compete Agreement Clause is In Effective
Another step that you need to take in the bid to getting out of non – compete agreement clause with your employee is to move to a location where the agreement becomes invalid. The truth is that there are conditions attached to non – compete agreement clauses and one of the conditions is that you must not a start similar business or work with similar organization within a defined perimeter. For example, if you work with an organization in California and you intend starting a similar organization, you can move to New York start the business without harassment.
4. Modify Your Business
If you have signed a non – compete agreement clause with an organization and you intend starting a similar business, one of the things that you can do is to ensure that you modify the business. The truth is that no two ideas are same in the real sense of it. You can research on ways to develop a product or design a service that is not entirely like that of your previous employer. This method might be tricky, but you need to lay your cards properly.
5. Search for Opportunities Where Your Employer Breached Your Contract Agreement
Another way to get out of non – compete clause with ease is to search for opportunities where your employer breached the contract agreement they have with you. The truth is that is rare to see any organization that have not one way or the other breached employer or employee agreement.
So if you have been a victim in time past, then you should bring it up whenever the organization tries to invoke the non – compete agreement clause against you. This method requires that you discuss with your lawyer to be sure the case will favor you before adopting this method.
Over and above, it is important that you know that there are states that have peculiar cases and methods started above which might not be applicable, that is why it is advisable to discuss your case with a competent lawyer. Lawyers have a way of helping you get out non – compete agreements.