Is the non-compete agreement legal? How? 4 Answers as of August 21, 2015

I'm a former employee and was recently released from a small business, my employer had me sign a no compete statement saying "I wouldn't go into business in the same trade for 365 consecutive days upon termination of employment." Are there any legalities that could happen to me if I did go into the same trade and can something like this be legal if it is only a single statement? Mind you, I was never given a copy of that written statement either.

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Fox & Fox, S.C. | Richard F. Rice
Make a written request to obtain the non-compete statement/agreement and contact an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/21/2015
KEYL ADR Services, LLC | Mark D. Keyl
Non compete agreements are enforceable to the extent that they are not to restrictive. I would have to see the agreement to comment further.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 8/21/2015
WILLIAM L SANDERS, ATTORNEY AT LAW | William L. Sanders
In GA, no one can render an opinion on a non-compete clause without reading the entire agreement, start to end. The law changed about 10 years ago. The answer was simple back then: The agreement is valid as to the time - 1 year was the old max. But, under the new law, the entire agreement must be reviewed. The geographic area is also a consideration. If you are 2,000 miles away, are you competing? If you are just down the road, it would not be permitted. It is unfortunate you never received a copy, but that does not make the agreement unenforceable. If it is a valid, legal contract, the employer can get a restraining order against you, make you pay for his lawyer, and recover any lost sales due to your competition. If it is valid, be careful. If you are not in GA, you should resubmit your question, identify your state, and ignore the above answer. This is one area where the law varies widely from state to state. It is likely the law in your state is different, and the answer is different.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 8/20/2015
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
If you go into direct competition against a corporation which you have agreed to a noncompete, which is reasonable and it's length and scope, you are subject to being sued and enjoined from further competitive activity during the period which you agreed upon. Generally I would suggest you buy a limited amount of attorney time to determine whether or not the noncompete agreement would be reasonable and enforceable under the circumstances you are presently in.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/20/2015
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