What You Should Know Before Signing a Non-Compete Agreement

Obstacles Sales Manager

Being offered a new job is exciting! You worked hard to successfully navigate the interview process and finally, you found a company that is just the right fit. However, before signing that non-compete agreement, pause for a moment to consider a few things.


What are the conditions?

  • Why are you leaving? Non-competes may vary based on your purpose of separation. If you leave voluntarily, your agreement may have terms that differ from those based on an involuntary dismissal.
  • How will the agreement affect future job opportunities? Some agreements prevent you from working for a similar company within a certain radius. Or perhaps you will be limited to certain clients you can prospect for new business. Never put yourself in a situation where you are trapped and unable to move forward with your career upon termination.
  • What is the time frame? Agreements will eventually expire. However, upon termination, you will quickly need to find new employment. Pay attention to the timing of your release under the agreement and be careful not to back yourself into a corner.
  • What are the consequences for breaking the agreement? If you sign the agreement and choose to not comply, there are consequences. Penalties can vary, and some contracts can hold you liable for attorney fees or other fines.


Ask for assistance

A non-compete agreement can be confusing with a lot of fine print. Be sure to read through the entire contract carefully.

If you have questions, don’t be afraid to discuss the details with your potential employer. It is even appropriate to negotiate terms that you feel are unsuitable for your future livelihood.