Non-compete agreements are important tools when protecting a business’s interests and assets from its competitors. If you’re based in Los Angeles, you’re in luck – the state of California has some of the most lenient laws governing non-compete agreements. Before jumping into non-compete agreements, however, you should consult a lawyer who specializes in California non-compete law to ensure that it is well-written and properly enforced.

What Is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a contract that prohibits an employee or independent contractor from engaging in similar activities that compete with the employer’s business. For example, a non-compete agreement may prohibit the employee from working for a competitor or launching a similar business in the same location. Non-compete agreements can be used to secure confidential information or trade secrets, discourage poaching of existing staff, or prevent the employee from starting up a competitor business.

Non-compete agreements can protect employers from potential harm caused by unfair competition. By preventing employees from working either for competitors or starting their own competitive business, employers can ensure that their own businesses benefit from the highly-trained, knowledgeable, and specialized employees they have spent considerable amounts of time and money cultivating.

California Limitations on Non-Compete Agreements

Although non-compete agreements can offer businesses the protection they need from unfair competition, it is important to remember the limitations each state imposes upon their enforceability. California, in particular, heavily restricts the enforceability of non-compete agreements.

California’s Business & Professions Code Section 16600 states that “[e]very contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” This prohibition essentially means that non-compete agreements are considered void and unenforceable in California.

Despite this strict ban, however, there are certain limited exceptions in which California courts have held that non-compete agreements may be enforced, such as when the employer’s rights are threatened by the unauthorized disclosure, use, or indirect disclosure of trade secrets or confidential information that a legitimate business interest is in danger of being harmed by the employee’s conduct. In such situations, employers can protect their interests by requiring the employee to sign an agreement restricting the use and disclosure of such information and prohibiting the employee from working for a competing business.

How Do I Get Started?

To get started on a non-compete agreement in Los Angeles, your first step should be to contact a lawyer who specializes in California non-compete law. These lawyers will be able to advise you on the enforceability of your agreement and help you to draft the agreement in a way that is enforceable and permissible in your jurisdiction. Additionally, these lawyers can provide you with advice on how to enforce the agreement and what remedies may be available to you if the agreement is violated.

If you are looking for high quality legal counsel, UpCounsel’s network of experienced attorneys is available to help. UpCounsel provides access to experienced attorneys on demand, with business attorneys having an average of 14 years of experience. Profiles of the online attorneys display client ratings and reviews of recent work, meaning you can trust UpCounsel to provide you with legal services of the highest quality.

Final considerations

Non-compete agreements can be powerful tools for protecting your business’s interests and assets from unfair competition. However, when it comes to creating and enforcing a non-compete agreement in Los Angeles, it is important to understand the unique set of laws that govern them in California. To ensure that your agreement is enforceable, seeking counsel from experienced lawyers is essential. From small businesses to the Fortune 1000, UpCounsel and its network of experienced lawyers are ready to provide you with innovative and cost-effective legal services.


Non-compete agreements,

Los Angeles,

California law