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When Can You Enforce A Non-Compete Agreement In Texas?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Business Law |

When your company brings in new talent, you may need to protect the business’s interests. Especially when you intend to add someone to your product development department or executive team, they will likely have access to trade secrets and other proprietary information that your company doesn’t want to share with its competitors.

New hires cost money even when they come to your company with industry experience and formal education. Training is necessary, and you may have to offer relocation support or other benefits to attract the best talent. You obviously want them to stay at your company long enough for the business to recoup those investments, and you want to prevent them from damaging the company when they leave.

You may have included a non-compete agreement in your employment contract. Such an agreement theoretically helps prevent your new hire from unfairly competing with your company in the future. If someone subject to a non-compete agreement with your business has left your company to start a competing business of their own or has taken a job with one of your main competitors, can you enforce your non-compete agreement in the Texas civil courts?

If The Agreement Meets Certain Standards, You Can Enforce It Later

Texas has numerous important previous court rulings that influence non-compete agreements. In general, to enforce an agreement in Texas, you need to show that it was part of a larger, valid employment agreement.

The terms of the agreement itself must have appropriate limitations in place. Typically, the courts will only enforce non-compete agreements for a certain amount of time. They will also restrict its enforceability to the geographic locations where your business currently operates.

Provided that your agreement meets all of these standards and that you can show a clear violation by a former employee, you should have a straightforward case for enforcement.

Injunctions And Damages Are Both Possible

Sometimes, your main concern when enforcing a non-compete agreement is to prevent someone from continuing to operate a company using the trade secrets or training that you provided to them. Other times, you may want to hold someone accountable for the financial impact their actions have already had on your company.

Enforcing your non-compete agreement can hold someone accountable for breaching their employment contract with your company and can also protect your business.