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Noncompete Agreement is a valid contract (or clause in the employment contract) that generally enforceable.
If you would take away clients from your current employer - the employee may sue you for damages that include lost of revenue, legal expenses, etc
Especially if you are not an employee (receiving W2) but a self-employed contractor(receiving 1099-misc).
Some states will not enforce a noncompete agreement against employees and some will limit the use of such agreements. - Please see this Arizona specific analysis on how AZ courts treat noncompete agreements in different situations - http://www.myazbar.org/AZAttorney/PDF_Articles/1205Noncompete.pdf
So - a noncompete agreement may be a powerful legal instrument.