New York Law on Non-Compete Agreements

As the economic and business hub of America, New York has a unique set of laws and regulations, including those related to non-compete agreements. These agreements are a type of contract between employers and employees that prohibit the employee from starting or working for a competing business in the same industry for a specific period of time after leaving their current job. Let’s take a closer look at New York`s laws on non-compete agreements.

Non-Compete Agreements in New York State

The New York State law on non-compete agreements, also known as restrictive covenants, covers a wide range of industries and professions, including sales, customer service, and technical roles. These agreements must be in writing, signed by both parties, and must be reasonable in their duration, geographic scope, and the type of activity prohibited.

In general, New York courts tend to scrutinize non-compete agreements more closely than other states. The law requires that the restriction be necessary to protect an employer`s legitimate business interests, such as trade secrets or confidential information, and not just to prevent competition. In addition, the restriction must be reasonable in its time, geographic scope, and type of activity prohibited.

Duration of Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements in New York have a maximum duration of one year. This means that any restriction on the employee`s ability to compete with their former employer cannot exceed one year from the end of their employment. However, in some cases, the duration may be shorter depending on the scope of the agreement.

Geographic Scope of Non-Compete Agreements

The geographic scope of non-compete agreements in New York should be limited to the areas where the employer does business or has a significant business interest. This means that employers cannot use non-compete agreements to prevent employees from working in unrelated industries or regions where the employer has no business interests.

Type of Activity Prohibited

The type of activity prohibited by non-compete agreements must be related to the industry or business where the employee worked for the employer. This means that employees cannot be prohibited from working in other industries or participating in other activities that are not related to their previous employment.


Non-compete agreements in New York are governed by specific laws that require careful drafting and consideration. Employers who want to protect their legitimate business interests must ensure that their agreements meet the requirements of the law. Employees who are subject to non-compete agreements must also be aware of their rights and limitations under the law.

As a professional, I hope this article provides useful information to readers interested in understanding the New York law on non-compete agreements. By following the law and implementing reasonable restrictions, employers can protect their interests, while employees can pursue their careers without unnecessary restrictions.