Advice on a 3 year non-compete agreement

A design/developer agency is offering me a remote designer/developer position. The job sounds pretty decent for my first position in the industry. But i’m concerned about the 3 year non-compete agreement. I wont know if it’s just a no-compete for where the company is based or if it covers all of the US. Any advice? I’m planning on taking the agreement and having my lawyer look it over before I sign.

The problem is that web design is a global business now.

I would read it closely. Does it say you can’t work as a dev, or that you just can’t poach their clients?

Yeah, talk to a lawyer if you want. You could also consider removing all personal and company details and upload it here or a legal forum and see what people say. Obviously a lawyer would be more definitive. But the details are going to be in the wording. You need to make sure it is very specific. You can also ask the company directly - an email chain is at least some sort of documentation as to what the intent is.

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Thanks for replying. I asked to see the contact and i’m waiting for a response back. If it did say I couldn’t work as a dev, should I keep applying elsewhere?

yes. run like the wind away from such a contract. Depends on the industry, but there is often a 1-year noncompete clause, and even then the language tends to be very specific about where, and in which industries you can’t work.

Again, it all depends on the wording - it may just be talking about existing clients of theirs.


Depending on the type of work that you do, a non-compete can bar you from working for a direct competitor. That would only be the case if you were working with proprietary information. If you’re doing web development, they can’t prevent you from working for another company as a web developer. A non-compete agreement like that would not be legally enforceable.

I wouldn’t worry about it.

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I’m not trying to argue, just looking for some clarification. If they couldn’t enforce it why have a non-compete agreement in the first place?

Doing a little research, it appears that this may be depending on your state. For example, I have read that NC agreements are flat out illegal here in California. But I’ve worked in other states were NC agreements were common (in other fields.)

Here is an article discussing it and here is a breakdown by state.

So, @Jcgoodwin, what state are you in?

Thanks for the links kevinSmith! I appreciate it. I’m currently in Colorado but may be moving to Texas soon. I’ll read through the links and then when I get the non-compete agreement send it off to a lawyer.

Why would you ever leave our beautiful state for Tex-ass???

**sort of

Because the cost of living in CO is ridiculous for what you get. And I prefer being away from my monster in law.
**not joking at all

Yeah… right… Colorado… 420 :slight_smile:

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