How Long Can a Pre-2018 Non Compete Restrict Me From Competing?
Prior to the Non Compete Act (i.e., before October 1, 2018) there was no bright-line limit to the amount of time you could be restricted from competition after employment. Instead, courts analyze on a case by case basis what amount of time is reasonably necessary to protect the employer's legitimate business interest.
For example, if a sales representative left a job where the average sales cycle was a year or more, a court might allow a two year non compete to protect the employer's good will in these longer term relationships. In contrast, in a higher volume, higher turnover business, there might be an argument that even a year is longer than necessary.
Historically, Massachusetts courts typically would not enforce periods longer than two years, unless the non compete was signed in connection with the sale of a business. In most cases, a period of one year was considered reasonable.
Learn more here about non compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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