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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 33786
Experience:  15 years practicing attorney
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I signed a non compete and I believe an employment letter.

Customer Question

I signed a non compete and I believe an employment letter. However, I am not going to take the position and start my own business, which would violate this if valid. Would this be enforceable? I haven't started yet. I am in Ohio. They are a business that wants to start an IT firm, and I want to start my own instead of working there.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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If you haven't actually begun your employment under any employment agreement, then you would never have become an employee and as such wouldn't be held liable under the non-compete agreement which would apply to current and former employees, not prospective ones.
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So if you haven't actually started your employment, then you couldn't be bound under the non-compete agreement that was tied to your employment. Even if you have started for a brief period of a day or two, a court would be unlikely to enforce it because you wouldn't have had time to be exposed to confidential information or trade secrets so the non-compete would just be to stifle competition which is a violation of the free trade laws.
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The employer has to have a legitimate business interest to protect, not just the goal of preventing competition.
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thanks
Barrister