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Non-Competes Are Banned: What to do NOW to Protect Your Business

Non-Competes Are Banned: What to do NOW to Protect Your Business

Non-Competes Are Banned: What to do NOW to Protect Your Business 2560 1920 Alicia East

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has banned non-compete clauses for the vast majority of workers. Such employment contracts exist across various industries and the new rule will significantly alter the employment landscape in the United States. Non-compete agreements traditionally prevent employees from joining competing firms or starting similar businesses within a specified time after leaving a company. The implications of this ban are significant and companies need to make immediate changes to project business interests.

Business Implications of the Non-Compete Ban

What Are The Drawbacks?

Businesses are most worried about the increased risk of losing proprietary information. Without non-compete agreements, employees may take proprietary knowledge, trade secrets, or client lists to direct competitors. This has the potential to increase competition as employees can start competing businesses or join rivals without any temporal restrictions. The ban could also make it harder for a company to reap the benefits of their investments in training an employee if workers can easily take their new skills over to a competitor. Businesses will need to find new ways to protect their interests and these methods could lead to increased legal and administrative costs.

What Are The Benefits?

The drawbacks seem to make the headlines, but businesses could see benefits from the ban, too. Employees moving freely between companies has the potential to increase competition and innovation. Such mobility also allows businesses to attract talent more easily, especially those who may have been previously locked into restrictive contracts. New employees bring new ideas and new ideas foster innovation. 

What Businesses Must do NOW

Protect Business Interests:

Non-competes are not the only way to protect your investment. Trade Secret Laws and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) still provide legally sound avenues to protect sensitive information. Clear definitions of confidential information and explicit employee obligations post-employment can mitigate risks. Adjust employment contracts in accordance with new guidelines and solicit legal advice to ensure compliance. 

Invest in Employee Relations:

Rather than preventing workers from leaving, companies can invest in building a strong company culture. Increasing employee loyalty by fostering a positive work environment can be an effective strategy to retain talent. Fostering a positive work environment and offering competitive benefits are crucial in this regard. Having a happy workforce pays dividends in multiple ways. 


Maintain your competitive edge by continuously innovating and improving products and services. This not only helps in retaining customers but also makes it harder for former employees to replicate success.

Invest in Training And Development:

Continue to invest in employee training coupled with career development opportunities that align employee growth with the company’s goals. This can include leadership tracks, skill development workshops, and more.

Engage an Employer of Record (EOR):

EORs provide expertise in navigating employment compliance from region to region as well as addressing any areas of ambiguity when it comes to compliance laws/regulations. The right EOR can also help at the onboarding stage to make sure employers have all proper NDAs reviewed, signed, and on file. Engaging an EOR to dot the legal i’s and cross the compliance t’s can be a key to reducing business risks for many companies. 

The Bottom Line

The FTC ban on non-compete agreements is the beginning of a new era of workforce mobility and business operations. While there could be some benefits, the drawbacks and new legal challenges cannot be ignored. Businesses must proactively adapt to these changes through strategic planning and legally sound practices. By implementing the suggested guidelines, companies can not only comply with new regulations but also turn these changes into opportunities for growth. Take advantage of a free consultation to discuss how an EOR can help safeguard your business against the new challenges.