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If you signed a non compete in AZ, it is possible it can be enforced, unless they are no broader than necessary to protect an employer's legitimate protectable interests. Generally speaking, this means that a non-compete must be reasonable in time, usually 12 months or less, and be reasonable as to geographic scope, usually less than a nationwide, statewide or county-wide scope.
A 5 year non compete agreement, would be difficult to enforce against you,
Typically Arizona Courts look closely at whether the non-compete agreement should be enforced given the impact the non-compete will have on the employee. To be enforceable the Court will look at the following factors: 1) is there a legitimate business purpose for the non-compete; 2) did the employee receive any benefit for the agreement; 3) is the agreement reasonable in time and scope; and 4) does the agreement violate public policy.
Unless the buyer can prove actual financial disadvantage from you working, I do not see how a Court would enforce a 5 year non compete.
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a non compete for the sale of a business, still follows the same rules as an employment non compete, the main difference is that the sale of business non competes the Courts will consider the provisions more in favor of the buyer, as the seller and buyer were in similar positions when signed, if the non compete had a 5 year clause, that is still way above the norm for non compete agreements,
However, if you are going to directly compete with them, the Courts could favor them as they would be a financial loss if you started to directly compete after two years.
the court will determine whether the agreed upon period of time is reasonable by evaluating the type of business and the interests of the two parties, in your situation it will depend on how much financially they could suffer from direct competition.
New Expert here.
Does the non competition agreement have any geographical limitations?