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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
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I have a small IT services business, with eight employees and

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I have a small IT services business, with eight employees and a couple of independent contractors. It is my understanding that in California non-compete agreements are unenforceable. It is settled law in this state that the right of an employee to choose where he works cannot be limited by his employer. Therefore I include a clause in my client agreements that stipulates the client must pay a finder's fee in the event that they choose to hire or contract with one of my employees or contractors. My question is this: would a non-compete agreement with an independent contractor be permitted in California since they are an independent business entity and not an employee?
Thank you for your question. Unfortunately non-competes between employees and independent contractors are handled similarly under state law. A contract, under California law, cannot limit another party's freedom to contract.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 1/6/2011 at 7:01 AM EST
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