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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37001
Experience:  16 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.
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.
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.
The employer has to have a legitimate business interest to protect, not just the goal of preventing competition.