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The accomplished business attorneys of Kohan Law Group have an in-depth understanding of the purpose and significance of non-compete agreements. If you have any concerns about non-competes, contact our Manhasset office now for current information and wise legal counsel. 

The Purpose of Non-Compete Agreements

Signing a non-compete agreement is often required of new hires. It is a contract in which an employee agrees not to enter into competition with an employer after leaving the company. The agreement prohibits the employee from revealing confidential information or secrets to other parties during or after the employment period.

For our clients who are business owners in the competitive landscape of Nassau and Suffolk Counties and throughout New York City, non-compete agreements play a crucial role in safeguarding their companies’ sensitive information so they can maintain their competitive edge.

Non-compete agreements are intended to protect businesses from former employees who may be tempted to take advantage of sensitive information they have accrued during their period of employment. From the employee’s viewpoint, on the other hand, these contracts may be perceived as unfairly limiting future career opportunities, making employees vulnerable to legal liabilities.  At Kohan Law Group, our skilled lawyers are adept at seeing to it that non-compete agreements are crafted to be fair to both parties.

What specifics do non-compete agreements cover?

Non-compete agreements prevent former employees who leave a company from working for a direct competitor or starting a business that competes with the company they left. However, these restrictions apply only for a limited period, in a particular geographic area. Non-competes safeguard the business’s proprietary information, including:

  • Trade secrets
  • Client lists
  • Marketing strategies

In Nassau and Suffolk Counties and throughout the five boroughs of New York City area, where industries thrive on innovation and exclusive clientele, these agreements help prevent the erosion of a company’s competitive position. 

Can Non-Compete Agreements Be Enforced in New York?

New York State non-compete agreements can be enforced if they are considered reasonable and necessary to protect legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets or well-established client relationships. However, the enforceability of these agreements is subject to specific conditions. Courts typically scrutinize non-compete agreements to ensure they are not overly broad or oppressive and do not impose undue hardship on the employee or harm the public interest.

Factors That Affect the Validity of a Non-Compete Agreement

Several factors influence the validity of a non-compete agreement in New York:

Reasonable Scope and Duration

The agreement must be limited in time and geographic area to what is reasonably necessary to protect the business’s legitimate interests.

Protection of Legitimate Business Interests

The agreement must serve to protect valid business interests such as trade secrets, proprietary information, or special relationships with clients.


The employee must receive something of value — e.g. employment, promotion, additional training — in exchange for signing the non-compete.

Impact on the Employee

The agreement should not unduly burden the employee’s ability to earn a living.

Public Interest

The agreement must not harm the public, for example, by limiting the availability of goods or services.

The court may also consider whether, and under what circumstances, the employee was fired or laid off and whether or not the employee was a low-wage nonexempt worker for whom such agreements are not intended

Consequences of Violating a Non-Compete Agreement

Violating a non-compete agreement in New York can lead to penalties for the employee, including:

  • Legal action initiated by the former employer
  • Injunctions preventing the employee from working in competing businesses
  • Financial damages payable to the former employer for losses incurred
  • Payment of legal costs associated with the enforcement of the agreement

Employees found violating these agreements may also suffer reputational damage, negatively impacting their future employment opportunities.

Governor Hochul’s Veto on Non-Compete Agreement Ban 

In a notable move that resonated across New York’s business sector, Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill aimed at eliminating non-compete agreements within the state. This decision retains the status quo, allowing non-compete clauses to remain a valid aspect of employment contracts in New York, albeit under continued judicial scrutiny. The scrutiny ensures these agreements are reasonable in scope, duration, and geographical limits, aligning with the state’s legal standards.

This veto comes at a time when the legality of non-compete agreements is under national examination. States such as California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Oklahoma have already declared such agreements invalid.

As the legal environment surrounding non-compete agreements continues to evolve, both employers and employees must remain vigilant and informed. The Kohan Law Group is committed to providing the latest updates and guidance on these developments, ensuring our clients handle these changes with foresight and integrity. 

Why Kohan Law Group Is the Right Choice

Kohan Law Group offers outstanding business law services, especially in drafting, analyzing, and enforcing non-compete agreements. We tailor our approach to meet the unique needs and objectives of each client, ensuring that business assets are protected while complying with New York legal standards.

Contact Our Experienced Business Attorneys Now

When it comes to non-compete agreements, our team understands the intricacies of New York law and the importance of balancing the protection of business interests with the rights of employees. We provide clear, strategic guidance to ensure that non-compete agreements are reasonable, enforceable, and effective. Whether you are a business owner seeking to implement a non-compete agreement or an individual navigating an existing contract, Kohan Law Group is ready to assist you with dedicated, professional support. Contact us today.