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Legally, in order to have a binding non-compete clause it must be in writing, just like their agreement to give him ownership in the company. If the non-compete is a written agreement, even if they broke their promise about ownership, then it can still be enforceable in Iowa as long as the interests the agreement protects are only those reasonable to protect the existing employer and as long as the geographic area is reasonable and time frame (not more than 2 years) is reasonable.
If he has a 30 mile radius clause, his office would have to be outside of that 30 mile radius to comply with the non-compete and if he is seeing patients within that 30 mile radius then he could be still sued for breach of the non-compete.
To break the non-compete, you have to prove that the time length or geographic scope is unreasonable or that the scope that is being protected is too broad to protect only the narrow scope the current employer needs protected. The other option is to negotiate a buyout of the non-compete, which would have to be in writing with the current employer to release him from that agreement.
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