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Are non-compete clauses legal in California? Does it matter

Customer Question
that will be an independent...
Are non-compete clauses legal in California? Does it matter that will be an independent contractor?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Business Law
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4/5/2012
Business Lawyer: Roger, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Roger
Roger, Attorney
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Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Business litigation attorney here to assist you.

 

Non-compete clauses are illegal under California Business and Professional Code § 16600: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=bpc&group=16001-17000&file=16600-16607

 

It makes no difference whether an employee or independent contractor is involved - these contracts are not legal in California.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
If I sign an IC agreement with a non-compete in it is that part invalid then? Should I insist that they take it out or does it not matter? Thank you.
Business Lawyer: Roger, Attorney replied 5 years ago

Yes, the non-compete agreeent would be invalid under California law. Even if the provision is in the agreement, it is void as a matter of law. I would recommend that you ask that it be taken out due to the content of Section 16600.

 

However, if they refuse, it really makes no difference as long as you're working in California.

 

It is likely that the employer doesn't know that non-competes are illegal in California - it is the only state in the country (I think) that prohibits the use of non-compete agreements in employment/business contracts.

Roger
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