Noncompete-AgreementNon-compete agreements are a business agreement typically between a business entity and an employee, where the employee agrees not to compete against their former employer for a specified period of time in an agreed upon geographic location. Today more than ever, employers have hired valuable employees who are instrumental to their South Carolina corporation or business. These employes do everything in their power to keep these employees from leaving and taking their skills and knowledge with them. With the current business environment of increased mobility, speed of information and how it can be distributed, decreased loyalty, and the massive amount of capital investment spent by the employer in producing intellectual property, and businesses, both big and small, are increasingly making it a requirement that employees sign restrictive non-compete agreements in order to discourage employee defection or corporate pirating.

Again, South Carolina law still favors free mobility of employees. However, with an increased number of employers requiring employees to sign these non-compete agreements, there also comes an increased number business client seeking counsel from our Charleston business lawyer to enforce these restrictive covenant. Accordingly, the body of law governing this area of restrictive covenants has been changing.

While South Carolina law favors free mobility of employees, an increased number of employers require employees to sign non-compete agreements. This coincides with an increased number of business clients seeking counsel from our Charleston business lawyer to enforce these restrictive covenant.

Non-Compete Agreements

This broad category of business contracts prohibits the employee from working for a competing company. In order to be enforceable, this restrictive covenant must be for a specified period of time and within certain geographical and/or business parameters. An employer might ask a potential employee to sign a non- competition agreement as a condition of hire. A current employee might be required to sign one as a condition of continued employment. When an employee has not already signed such non-compete agreements, an employer might include in the employee’s severance agreement a covenant not to compete for a period of time post-employment. Because these covenants present obvious restrictions on an employee’s ability to earn a living after leaving the employer, transactional and litigation business attorneys must be knowledgeable about the ways to limit these restrictions and protect the employee, prosecute the employee or defend the employer and the non-compete agreements.