Is a no compete valid if parts are missing/blank?

Is a non compete valid if it is not signed and dated by the company, they breach on their part and the geographical area is left blank?

1 answer  |  asked May 4, 2005 4:22 PM [EST]  |  applies to Illinois

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Answers (1)

Anthony Cameron
Elements of a non-compete

No responsible lawyer can give a comprehensive interpretation of a non-compete without seeing it.

The first question in analyzing a non-compete is whether you are a stakeholder in the company or simply an employee. The standards are different.

Assuming you are just an employee, then the question arises whether you were already employed when you entered into the non-compete or whether you signed it when you came on board.

Assuming you were already an employee and you signed it, the next question is whether you got anything for signing it. An agreement unsupported by what is called consideration is not an agreement.

Assuming you got a little raise or bonus for signing it, the company's signature is irrelevant so the absence of their signature and date is of no moment at all.

The absence of the geographical area could be crucial. Until recently, the rule was that the duty was on the employer to pose a reasonable radius or area. If the employer failed to pose one or the posed and unreasonable one, the agreement was simply void. This has changed in certain Appellate districts in Illinois. Your Appellate District has not ruled on this precise question yet. The one to the south of you has indicated it will substitute a reasonable geo. area rather than let the agreement fail. It's not a lock but I have difficulty seeing your Appellate District rescuing a sloppy employer from his own carelessness.

Having said that, the risks in non-compete cases are great. There are many terrific employment lawyers in the Pekin/Peoria area. See one and get an opinion about your specific agreement before you do anything irrevocable.

Anthony B. Cameron

posted by Anthony Cameron  |  May 18, 2005 6:32 PM [EST]

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