Breaking a Non-Compete Agreement in Missouri: What You Need to Know

Non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, are common in many industries, especially those where trade secrets, confidential information, and client relationships are critical to the success of a business. These agreements are designed to prevent employees from competing against their former employers for a specified period after leaving their job. However, what if you find yourself in a situation where you want to break a non-compete agreement in Missouri? Here is what you need to know.

1. Know the terms of the agreement

Before breaking a non-compete agreement, you need to know what you are up against. Read the agreement carefully and understand its terms, including the duration of the restriction, the scope of the restriction, and how it defines the industry or geographic area that it covers. Make sure you know what the agreement allows and prohibits you from doing.

2. Consult an attorney

Breaking a non-compete agreement is a legal matter that requires careful consideration and possible legal action. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in employment law can help you understand your rights and options. The attorney can also help you determine if the agreement is enforceable or if there are any loopholes that you can use to your advantage.

3. Consider negotiating a release

If you are considering breaking a non-compete agreement, it may be worth trying to negotiate a release with your former employer. A release is a document that waives or releases you from the obligation to abide by the terms of the non-compete agreement. If your former employer consents to a release, you may be able to start working for a competitor without any legal repercussions.

4. Be prepared for potential consequences

Breaking a non-compete agreement can lead to legal consequences. Depending on the terms of the agreement and the specifics of your case, your former employer may take legal action against you. This could result in financial damages, court orders, or other penalties. Before breaking a non-compete agreement, weigh the potential consequences against the benefits of doing so.

In conclusion, breaking a non-compete agreement in Missouri is a serious matter that requires careful consideration and consultation with an attorney. Knowing the terms of the agreement, negotiating a release, and being prepared for potential consequences are all important factors to consider before taking any action. By following these steps, you can make an informed decision about whether breaking a non-compete agreement is the right move for you.