Non-compete clauses are a common element of business contracts. They can play an important role in protecting a company's competitive position or trade secrets. As the business landscape in Dallas becomes ever more competitive, understanding the ins and outs of non-compete clauses is invaluable for employers and employees alike. To help shed light on the topic, this article will cover frequently asked questions about non-competes in the Dallas area.

When an employer drafts a non-compete agreement, it should be tailored to Dallas-specific concerns and regulations. Many aspects of non-competes are decided at the state level, and laws regarding non-compete clauses vary from state to state. An attorney experienced in Dallas business law can be a valuable resource for any employer or employee considering a non-compete clause. By taking into account local laws and regulations, an employer can make sure that its non-compete agreement is enforceable and air-tight.

What is a non-compete clause?

A non-compete clause (also known as a "covenant not to compete") is a section of a contract in which one party agrees not to compete with the employer after the employment contract has ended. It is aimed at preventing former employees from opening a similar business or working for a competitor for a certain period of time. Non-compete clauses can also protect the employer’s trade secrets and confidential information.

Who is affected by non-competes?

Non-competes usually affect current employees and prospective hires. A non-compete clause in an employment contract is binding when the employee signs it. For prospective hires, an employer may offer more attractive benefits or terms in exchange for signing the non-compete.

Do all non-competes have the same terms?

No. Non-competes are defined and enforced based on state laws. That means the scope and duration of a non-compete will likely vary from state to state. Texas has strict laws governing non-compete agreements, including restrictions on the duration and geographic scope allowed. Additionally, many states, including Texas, require that non-competes include a clause waiving any royalties an employee may be entitled to from an invention, trade secret, or other intellectual property created while employed.

Are non-competes enforceable?

The enforceability of a non-compete will depend on the specifics of the clause and other relevant factors. Generally, non-competes are more difficult to enforce if they are overly broad in scope or duration. Additionally, some non-competes may be found to be invalid if the employee was unbalanced in the development of the contract or was denied compensation when signing it. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced Dallas business attorney review the terms of the non-compete before it is signed.

When are non-competes invalid?

Certain non-competes may be deemed unenforceable by the courts, depending on the specifics of the contract. For example, if the non-compete is overly broad, provided inadequate consideration when signing the contract, or did not contain reasonable geographic or temporal restrictions, it may be judged to be invalid. Additionally, certain protected classes, such as disabled persons, may not be subject to non-compete clauses in certain states.

What are the implications of non-competes?

Non-competes can have a significant effect on a business or an employee's ability to compete in the labor market. Employers should carefully consider the impact that non-compete clauses can have on employee morale, productivity, and the business's ability to attract top talent. Employees should understand the implications of a non-compete clause prior to signing, as it may significantly reduce their ability to work in the chosen field after their contract is complete.

To sum up, non-compete clauses are an important element of contract law in Dallas and all of Texas. A non-compete can help protect a business from competitors, but must be carefully written to be enforceable. Both employers and employees should understand their rights and obligations with respect to non-compete clauses prior to signing an agreement.


Non-Compete Clause,