NonCompete Law
Home - Minnesota Non-Compete Law

This website was designed by Minnesota non-compete attorney Craig W. Trepanier to answer Frequently Asked Legal Questions (FAQ's) about Minnesota non-compete agreements and non-compete lawsuits.  

If you have additional legal questions or need to hire a Minnesota non-compete lawyer to handle a Minnesota non-compete lawsuit,
Craig W. Trepanier offers an Initial Minnesota Non-Compete Legal Consultation.  The consultation covers up to two (2) hours of legal assistance for $500.  To schedule your initial consultation, please read the Terms & Conditions here and contact the firm using the online form or at 612-455-0500.

Mr. Trepanier represents both employers and employees in Minnesota non-compete litigation in addition to drafting and interpreting Minnesota non-compete agreements.

What is a Minnesota Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a special type of contract that generally prohibits an employee from competing against his or her employer for a period of time after the employment relationship ends.

A non-compete agreement, "covenant not to compete", or "restrictive covenant" may be contained in a stand-alone contract, or it may be part of a broader written employment agreement.

What Does a Minnesota Non-Compete Agreement Typically Include?

Minnesota non-compete agreements often prohibit the employee from accepting a job with a competitor or otherwise competing against the company for a period of time after the employment relationship ends.  The types of restrictions contained in a non-compete agreement vary greatly from agreement-to-agreement. 

Non-Competition Clause:   Some Minnesota non-compete agreements are extremely broad and prohibit the employee from engaging in "any" competitive activity, including but not limited to, accepting employment with a competitor or starting a competing business.

Non-Solicitation of Customers Clause:  Many Minnesota non-compete agreements include non-solicitation provisions that prohibit the employee from soliciting or doing business with the employer's customers for a period of time.  These are sometimes called "non-solicitation" agreements, "non solicitation" agreements, or "no solicitation" agreements. 

Non-Solicitation of Employees Clause:  Minnesota non-compete agreements often prohibit the employee from hiring or soliciting for employment the company's employees for a period of time.  These provisions are sometimes called "non-hire" clauses, "non-recruitment" clauses, or "anti-raiding" clauses designed to prevent the employee from recruiting the employer's best employees to join a competitor.

Non-Disclosure of Confidential Information:  Most Minnesota non-compete agreements contain non-disclosure provisions that prohibit the employee from using or disclosing the employer's confidential information or trade secrets.  Such provisions are called "non-disclosure" clauses or "confidentiality" clauses.  Contracts which contain such clauses are called "non-disclosure agreements", "NDAs", or "confidentiality agreements" and are designed to protect the employer's confidential information.

These are all examples of restrictive covenants.  A "restrictive covenant" is merely a covenant (or contractual promise) by the employee that restricts the ability of the employee to compete against the employer in some fashion.  For simplicity, this website will refer to all forms of agreements containing such restrictive covenants and covenants not to compete as "non-compete agreements".

Are Minnesota Non-Compete Agreements Enforceable?

The laws governing non-compete agreements vary from state-to-state.  Under Minnesota law, non-compete agreements are disfavored and scrutinized closely because they are considered partial restraints of trade.  Such agreements prevent the free flow of employees between companies and limit the ability of individuals to earn a living.  Further, there is often unequal bargaining power between the employer and employee.  

Contrary to popular belief, however, non-compete agreements are enforceable under Minnesota law in many situations. 
To be enforceable under Minnesota law, the non-compete agreement:

  • must be supported by adequate legal consideration;
  • must serve a legitimate employer interest; and
  • must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geography.

What is the Blue Pencil Doctrine?

Even if the court determines that a Minnesota non-compete agreement is unreasonable or overly broad as drafted, the court has the power to "blue pencil" or narrow the agreement so as to make it reasonable.  This is called the "blue pencil doctrine".  Thus, the Minnesota courts have wide latitude to enforce some or all provisions in a Minnesota non-compete agreement to the extent necessary to protect the employer's legitimate interests.

Should I Talk to a Minnesota Non-Compete Lawyer?

Minnesota non-compete lawyer Craig W. Trepanier of the Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers an
Initial Minnesota Non-Compete Legal Consultation to help answer your questions about Minnesota non-compete agreements.  As a Minnesota non-compete attorney, Mr. Trepanier represents both employers and employees in drafting, interpreting, and litigating Minnesota non-compete agreements.  Mr. Trepanier has experience handling the specialized issues surrounding non-compete agreements.

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Minnesota non-compete attorney Craig W. Trepanier of the Minnesota non-compete law firm of Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota represents both employers and individual employees in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota area regarding Minnesota non-compete agreements, Minnesota non-competition agreements, Minnesota non-solicitation agreements, Minnesota non-disclosure agreements, Minnesota non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, Minnesota confidentiality agreements, Minnesota unfair competition, Minnesota tortious interference, Minnesota temporary restraining orders (TROs), Minnesota temporary injunctions, Minnesota preliminary injunctions, Minnesota cease and desist letters, Minnesota non-compete lawsuits, and Minnesota non-compete litigation.  Minnesota non-compete lawyer Craig W. Trepanier represents clients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Brainerd, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Duluth, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Lakeville, Mankato, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Moorhead, Plymouth, Richfield, Rochester, St. Cloud, Stillwater, Twin Cities, Woodbury and other cities within the State of Minnesota (MN) (Minn.).