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Non-Compete or Confidentiality Washington Washington

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  • Non-Compete or Confidentiality Washington Washington

    We are trying to make sure that if employees leave the company, they don't compete with us using our customer information (customer list, pricing information, etc.). We aren't concerned that they may compete with our business, we just don't want them to be able to use their knowledge of confidential information regarding our relationship with customers to compete with our business.

    Do we want to have the employees sign a confidentiality agreement or a covenant not to compete?

    I believe the answer is a confidentiality agreement, so I'll go ahead and ask my next question. I found a sample agreement to use, but I am wondering whether there are any special issues that we need to be aware of for the state of Washington. Does anyone know of any? Or, does anyone know of a website that I can research for the answer?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Nice review on non-compete agreements

    An excellent case law review entitled "Are Executive Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable?” was written by Anthony C. Valiulis (http://muchshelist.com/466.htm). Although the article is written for Illinois, the author is a leading expert in this country on non-compete agreements.
    I am not an attorney. My personal opinions are not legal advice.

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    • #3
      You'll probably want to have an employment or contract attorney in your state help you draft it.
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      • #4
        You should also see if your customer list meets the definition of a trade secret under your state's trade secret act. If it doesn't meet the requirements, then you lose a lot of protection.

        Anyway, base on your post, you are looking for a non-solicitation agreement, not a non-compete. They are two different things.

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        • #5
          Thanks everyone for your input. I am sure that Betty3 is correct, ultimately we do need to consult an attorney. Currently, I am just trying to gather some background information or order to keep costs down.

          Originally posted by TheRed View Post
          You should also see if your customer list meets the definition of a trade secret under your state's trade secret act. If it doesn't meet the requirements, then you lose a lot of protection.

          Anyway, base on your post, you are looking for a non-solicitation agreement, not a non-compete. They are two different things.

          Would a confidentiality agreement work? Or am I confused about the purpose of these three types of agreements?

          I took your advice and did some research regarding the definition of a trade secret under the law in my state. The law differentiates between a "trade secret" and a "secret." One example of a "secret" that is given is "a secret bid for a contract." This seems more like the information that we are trying to keep former employees from using: our contract information with customers, pricing and that sort of thing. Is there a way to do this either by one of the three agreements mentioned or by some other type of agreement.

          Thank you.

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