What is a Non-Compete Agreement and Should I Sign One?

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What is a Non-Compete Agreement and Should I Sign One?

In many cases, the hiring process is stressful, for both employers and potential employees. This is why, oftentimes, prospective employees will simply sign any paperwork that their new employer asks them to sign. In many cases, a non-compete agreement will be one of the documents a future employee will be asked to sign. A non-compete agreement is basically an agreement that states the employee will not take up a similar profession or trade that is similar to the job he or she is about to take. There are various reasons for asking employees to sign these agreements, though the main reason is that the employer does not want their employee to learn strategies and inside information, leave the company, and use that information to benefit another competing company. While these agreements are generally fair and make perfect sense, there are times where they are not, which is why you must continue reading and speak with a knowledgeable Georgia employment law attorney who can work to analyze your agreement and determine whether your agreement is unfair and may be overturned in court.

What makes a non-compete agreement valid and enforceable?

All non-compete agreements are required to meet the following standards:

  • Consideration: This means that the employer will have to give the employee something of value in exchange for the promise to abide by the terms of the agreement. In most cases, the thing of value is simple as a regular paycheck.
  • Valid Business Interest: For an employer to ask an employee to sign such an agreement, that employer must have a valid business interest, meaning he or she must be looking to protect trade secrets, private company information, and more. That being said, if you were asked to sign an agreement without a valid reason, we may work to have it overturned.
  • Reasonableness: These agreements should cover only certain geographical regions, and they generally are only valid for a certain amount of time.

You should also understand Georgia’s “Blue Pencil” rule. This rule regulates severability, meaning the rule gives judges the legal authority to adjust any covenant of a non-compete agreement they feel is too ambiguous or unclear to enforce. For any further questions, speak with our Atlanta employment law attorney today.


If you need help with an employment law matter in the state of Georgia, you can count on Ben Barrett Law to effectively represent your interests. With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Barrett has the skill and experience necessary to help you navigate the complexities of any employment law matter you may be facing. To discuss your case with a legal team you can trust, please do not hesitate to contact Ben Barrett Law today.

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