Non-Compete Agreements

Are covenants not to compete enforceable in Tennessee?
Can a court shorten the time period of a non-compete agreement?

Non-Compete AgreementsIn Tennessee, while covenants not to compete are technically"disfavored," generally speaking, they will be enforced by the courts provided that they are "reasonable" under the particular circumstances. Before a court will uphold a non-compete agreement, it will, typically, make sure that the time and territorial limitations of the agreement are no greater than is necessary to protect the party who obtained the agreement.

Searching for InformationThere are no hard and fast rules that establish when a non-compete agreement is reasonable or unreasonable, and a court will look at the particular facts of each case involving a non-compete agreement to determine the reasonableness of the non-compete agreement. In Tennessee, a court has the power to rewrite a non-compete agreement to reduce the length of time that it is effective. In Tennessee, a court has the power to limit or reduce the geographical area set forth in the agreement. Tennessee courts have reduced either, or both, the time limitation or geographical limitation of non-compete agreements.

You should not rely on any of the articles above until you have obtained the opinion of a lawyer. The law is too complex and legal outcomes are too dependent on the unique facts of each case for you to be able to rely on the above advice/opinions/articles without obtaining the opinion of a lawyer who is familiar with the facts of your particular case. There are many exceptions to general rules of law and there may be an exception to the general legal rules discussed above. You will not and cannot know if some important exception might apply to your situation until you have consulted with a lawyer about the particular facts of your case. This newsletter is not intended to be and should not be relied upon as legal advice. This newsletter is protected by copyright, but material appearing herein may be reproduced or translated with appropriate credit.