Non-Compete Attorney for to Examine if Your Franchise Agreement is Enforceable
When you signed your franchise agreement, you almost certainly agreed to a non-compete clause that restricts your ability to operate an independent business after your franchise ends. Non-compete clauses are ubiquitous in franchising; and, although they can serve legitimate business interests for franchisors in some circumstances, franchisors routinely use them to overreach.
If your franchise agreement has expired (or if your franchise has been terminated) and you are facing a non-compete clause, you should speak with a non-compete lawyer who has experience in challenging the enforceability of these costly contract provisions. With more than three decades of experience exclusively representing franchisees and dealers, non-compete attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein has helped many franchisees avoid the enforcement of post-termination non-competition covenants. Laws in all 50 states protect franchisees against unreasonable non-compete clauses; and, with a nationwide practice, Mr. Goldstein can help you regardless of where you are trying to start an independent business.
What is a Covenant Not to Compete?
A non-compete clause, also known as a non-competition covenant or a covenant not to compete, is a contract provision that prohibits one party from competing with the other. Within the franchise context, franchisors use non-compete clauses to prevent their franchisees from using what they learn as members of the franchise system to open competing independent (or franchised) businesses post-termination.
Covenants not to compete can be legally enforced. If a covenant not to compete serves a valid business purpose and is reasonable in scope, then it will survive scrutiny under the laws of most states. As a franchisee, you gain access to a significant amount of proprietary information; and, at least theoretically, you should learn a lot about running a successful business. While you pay for the privilege, you are not “buying” this information outright. When your franchise agreement ends, your franchisor has a legitimate interest in ensuring that you do not use what you have learned to compete with its company-owned outlets and other franchisees.
When is a Covenant Not to Compete Unenforceable?
There are several issues that can render a covenant not to compete unenforceable. Different states have different standards, and non-compete attorney Jeffrey Goldstein will need to examine the facts of your particular case to determine if you have grounds to challenge your franchise agreement’s non-compete clause. Generally speaking, however, common grounds for challenging non-compete clauses include:
- The non-compete covenant prohibits business that is not competitive with the franchise system
- The non-compete covenant is unreasonably long in duration
- The non-compete covenant is unnecessarily broad in geographic scope
- The non-compete covenant prevents you from utilizing your specialized education or training and makes it difficult (if not impossible) for you to earn a living
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Non-Compete Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein
Are you wondering if you have grounds to challenge the non-compete clause in your franchise agreement? If so, we invite you to schedule a free initial consultation at the Goldstein Law Firm. To request an appointment with national franchisee lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein, call us at 202-293-3947 or tell us how we can help online today.