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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 35326
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney
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I'm ***** ***** and my question is regarding a non-compete I

Customer Question

Hi. I'm ***** ***** and my question is regarding a non-compete I signed with a franchise owner of a gym 3 1/2 years ago and it has recently been sold. I have been asked and have not signed a non-compete with new owners. I am looking to go out on my own and have been told my first non-compete was part of the goodwill sold in the sale. I was under the impression a non-compete has to come with some sort of compensation besides my 23$/hour salary. Getting conflicting info. Didn't realize my contract could/would be part of the sale. I haven't signed the one new owners have asked because I was planning on leaving. Any advice?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: The original (nc) states I can't contact or solicit past or current clients. Where do I stand if I do not contact but I am sought out and second I would have to work 8 miles from current position and am looking at a space that a back road route equals 7 miles. Those are my two main concerns.
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Can you tell me what state this is in?

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And how long was the noncompete (NC) supposed to last?

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What was its geographic restriction? (i.e. 10 mile, 50, 100, etc.)

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Did the buyer actually acquire the entire company, including all assets, customers, and the name?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
New Hampshire.
No ending date. Just date of signature 5/12
8 miles. Looking at a place to lease 2 towns over but a back road route would bring it under the 8 miles.
It is a franchise and I'm assuming all assets, customer contracts and yes the name. The franchise is incorporated in Mass, and this franchise is in New Hampshire.
New owners did hand and ask me to sign new NC but I have not because I wanted to be able to go out on my own.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thank you for that information...

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One follow up for clarification....a non compete has a set duration, usually somewhere between a year and 3 years...

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So how long was this non compete supposed to last after you ended your employment with them?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't yet ended employment because I thought I was in the clear when I didn't sign with new owners and I was just recently told (unbeknownst to me) that my original NC was part of the "contracts and goodwill" purchased. I assumed the client contracts that get renewed (or not) every year was somethings new owners could purchase but I didn't think my NC was part of the deal (have not seen or read the purchase deal). I'm looking for some clarification before I make the move.
The NC I signed did not have a date to date on it just a date that I signed.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, I understand that it hasn't started running yet as you are still employed. But if it has no end date spelled out in the non complete, then it presumably would last forever, and the courts won't enforce a non compete like that. It has to have a specific duration and anything under 2 years is considered reasonable. At 3 it gets questionable, and over 3, they have to prove a compelling reason for enforcing it because it can't just be to stifle competition.

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There has to be a compelling reason, like confidential information or trade secrets that the former employee has that they could use against the company.

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However, if there is no stated duration for the noncompete, then it would be unenforceable as written.

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That is likely why they are trying to talk you into signing another one....because they have had the current one reviewed by an attorney who told them it is unenforceable due to not having an end date and would be overbroad under NH law.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for such an effort in answering my questions. Much appreciated!
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome. Glad to help any time..

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thanks

Barrister

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