Fort Mill, SC asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Business Law for North Carolina

Q: I'm looking for some answers regarding Noncompete law in NC.

I worked for a video production company in Charlotte, NC for about 5 years. I recall signing a noncompete when I first started, although I remember it only being a few lines of text. I no longer have the copy of it. I've started my own video production company, and I'm wondering what are my limits regarding working with former clients that I worked with at my previous company. An important part of this, is that the budgets that I would be working with at my new company are far less than what a company would need to work with my previous company. Am I able to work around the noncompete if I can prove that clients' budgets are far less than what my company would require? Often my previous company would turn away potential work if their budgets were too low. Does it violate a noncompete if I'm working with clients that don't have the budget to use my previous company? My new company is also located in SC, where my former company is located in NC.

1 Lawyer Answer
N'kia (NLN)
N'kia (NLN)
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Most non-competes either define competition or at least give examples of what would constitute competition. So, the agreement itself sets the expectations for what you will and won't do. However, a non-compete can be unenforceable for various reasons, including prohibiting too much conduct without a good enough reason.

You might want to try to get your hands on a copy of the agreement. (If you were an employee, your former employer likely still has it for compliance purposes.) Then, you will want to have a knowledgeable attorney review it and assess your rights.

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