Oklahoma Non-Compete Agreements: Questions & Answers

This Blog contains a substantial amount of material on Oklahoma non-compete agreements. 

With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to boil down all of the material to a brief series of questions and answers.  The result of the boil is below.

What is an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?
While the phase “non-compete” is used in different ways relating to employment contracts, when I say “non-compete”, I mean the pure non-compete which prevents an employee from working in the industry. The pure non-compete, as I discussed in this blog post, is typically unenforceable under Oklahoma law.  Consider the language below as an example of a pure non-compete restriction:

Employee shall not, within a radius of fifty (50) miles from anywhere that Employer maintains an office or facility from which Employer’s business is then-conducted, serve as an incorporator, director, officer, partner, employee, manager, consultant, agent, independent contractor, advisor, stockholder or otherwise, or directly or indirectly own an interest in, provide any financing for, or perform any services for himself herself, or on behalf of any person, business, corporation, partnership~ entity or organization that directly or indirectly engages in competition with. the Business engaged in by Employer.

What is the difference between an Oklahoma non-disclosure agreement and an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?
An Oklahoma non-compete prohibits a person from working in a business or industry, while a non-disclosure agreement prohibits a person from disclosing or using materials that have been deemed “confidential.”  You can read more about Oklahoma non-disclosure agreements here

Are pure non-compete agreements enforceable in Oklahoma? 
No.  Generally, a pure non-compete restriction is not enforceable under Oklahoma law.  Consider this blog post for information on the enforceability of pure non-compete restrictions.

In what scenarios might Oklahoma non-compete agreements be enforceable? 
There are two scenarios where a pure Oklahoma non-compete agreement might be enforceable (a) when a business owners sells the business and the sale includes the goodwill of a the business; and (b) when partners create non-compete restrictions in anticipation of the dissolution of the partnership or company through which they are doing business.  Consider this blog post for more information.

Posted by Shawn Roberts

On this blog, I write about and try to answer practical Oklahoma legal questions. My focus and most experience is in estate planning and business issues including Oklahoma non-compete law. I make a living as an attorney in the law firm I founded, Shawn J. Roberts, P.C. in Oklahoma City. I live in Edmond with my wife Amy and my two children, Sam (19) and David (11). We live precisely in the path of where the "wind comes sweeping down the plains."