Executive Non-Compete Agreements

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Executive Non-Compete Agreements

The attorneys at York Bowman Law devote a large percentage of our practice assisting executives and employers  (https://yorkbowmanlaw.com/employers/) with drafting, negotiating, evaluating,  and litigating non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants.


Unfortunately, many executives sign overly broad non-competes contained in employment agreements, without seeking legal counsel, because they are so excited about a particular job offer.  However, at the end of the employment relationships, disputes often arise over the language in the non-competes especially when executes seek to use their talents for a competitor performing substantially similar work. In these common scenarios, it is our goal to have a smooth separation with minimal disruption to both sides.


We encourage executives to seek legal review before signing non-competes to gain a complete understanding of the terms and what they could mean for the future. A sound non-compete agreement could prohibit re-employment in the same practice area for up to two years.


In Georgia, the non-compete law is very technical requiring a detailed analysis by an attorney who can ensure compliance.  Non-compete agreements cannot be overly broad to prevent an executive from earning a living. Instead, non-compete agreements should be tailored to meet the company’s legitimate business interests and contain reasonable terms based on the scope (the work tasks must be related to the company’s legitimate interests), duration (Georgia courts consider non-competes that last more than two years unreasonable), and geographic area (restrictions covering unlimited geographic areas are deemed unreasonable).


Our attorneys thoroughly assess non-compete agreements to determine:


  • If the executive had the type of job position that can be subject to a non-compete 
  • If the  agreement meets basic contract requirements
  • Whether restrictions on scope, duration, and geographic area are reasonable 
  • Whether the executive should renegotiate the employment agreement 
  • The type of new employment position the executive can secure


The law in this area is changing rapidly.  In 2021, President Joe Biden signed an Executive order encouraging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to minimize or outright ban non-compete agreements. The Order came as an effort to promote competition by reducing the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility. In response to the President’s Executive Order, the FTC proposed a new rule that would ban employers from imposing non-competes on their workers. The proposed rule would prohibit employers from using non-compete clauses, making it illegal for an employer to:


  • Enter into or attempt to enter into a non-compete with a worker;
  • Maintain a non-compete with a worker; or
  • Represent to a worker, under certain circumstances, that the worker is subject to a non-compete.


To stay abreast of the law in this area, retain an attorney at  York Bowman Law.  Allow us to draft, negotiate, evaluate, or litigate your non-compete agreement.