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Are Non Compete Agreements Valid in Missouri

Non-compete agreements are becoming increasingly popular in the employment sector as companies seek to protect their interests. The agreements are designed to prevent employees from leaving their current employer to work for a competing company or starting their own business in the same industry. However, there has been a lot of debate around the legality and validity of non-compete agreements in Missouri.

Missouri is one of the few states that do not have specific statutes regulating non-compete agreements. This means that the enforceability of these agreements in Missouri is largely based on common law and judicial precedent.

In Missouri, non-compete agreements are generally enforceable as long as they are reasonable and narrowly tailored to protect the employer`s legitimate business interests. This means that the agreement must be designed to protect something that is considered a legitimate business interest, such as trade secrets or customer relationships. Additionally, the agreement must be reasonable in scope and duration and should not place undue hardship on the employee.

In determining the enforceability of a non-compete agreement, Missouri courts will consider several factors such as the length of the restriction, geographic scope, and the nature of the work being restricted. Courts will also consider the employee`s level of skill, education, and experience, as well as the industry and market conditions.

If a non-compete agreement is found to be overly broad or unreasonable, the court may modify or even invalidate the agreement. In some cases, the court may also award damages to the employee who was restricted from working.

It is important to note that there are certain professions where non-compete agreements may be considered unenforceable in Missouri. For example, non-compete agreements for physicians may not be enforceable as they may be considered harmful to the public interest.

In conclusion, non-compete agreements are generally valid in Missouri as long as they are reasonable and narrowly tailored to protect the employer`s legitimate business interests. However, it is important for both employers and employees to understand the factors involved in the enforceability of these agreements to avoid any legal issues down the line.