Most corporations want to protect their business interests and “trade secrets”. They often do this by having employees sign non- compete agreements and/or non-disclosure agreements. Corporations often think that this is enough to protect their interests. For non-compete agreements to be valid there are several requirements that must be met. The agreement must be designed to protect a legitimate business interest and it must not be overbroad. In short, the agreement must be narrowly tailored so as to protect your legitimate business interest without unnecessarily restricting the employees from working elsewhere in similar fields.
The agreements must be reasonable in length of time, activities limited and the geographical area protected. The ultimate question for the Court to decide is whether the agreement is reasonable in nature. Generally, North Carolina law does not favor non-compete agreements. However, they are enforceable if drafted properly. It seems as though the use of non- compete and non-disclosure agreements continues to rise as business owners try to protect their business interests. If you desire to use similar agreements with your business, please feel free to contact us.