A non-compete agreement is a legal document that allows employers to restrict an employee’s ability to go and work for a competitor or to provide competing services either during their employment with the company or after they have left. Non-competes are often temporary documents that limit where an employee can work after leaving an employer.
Non-competes are useful tools but they aren’t always enforceable. Each state has its own rules about what is and is not allowed in a non-compete. Some states allow a wide range of non-compete agreements. Others are stricter about what can and cannot be in an agreement.
Georgia allows non-compete agreements in certain situations and for specific protections. Below is a guide to what is and is not enforceable in Georgia.
Is a Non-Compete Legally Enforceable in Georgia?
Non-compete agreements in Georgia are legally enforceable, but there are limits on what can be enforced. In most cases, non-competes are only allowed for “key” employees, which is defined in the Georgia code as employees in the top 5% of income within the company. 
The following items can be protected with a non-compete agreement in Georgia:
- Trade secrets
- Valuable confidential information that does not otherwise qualify as a trade secret
- Substantial relationships with specific prospective or existing customers, patients, vendors, or clients
- Customer, patient, or client goodwill associated with: an ongoing business, commercial, or professional practice, a specific geographic location
- A specific marketing or trade area
- Extraordinary or specialized training.
Reasonable Use and Exceptions
Georgia has several defined reasonable uses and exceptions for non-compete agreements in the state.
The reasonable uses include:
- Reasonable in time, space, and scope
- Justified by a legitimate business interest
- Applied to employees who regularly solicit customers, engage in sales, perform the duties of a key employee, or have the duty of managing a department and regularly direct the work of employees and have the authority to hire or fire them.
Non-Compete Georgia Limitations
Limitations on Time
Georgia state law does not state specific limitations on time in non-compete agreements. However, agreements shouldn’t be too broad and should be specific to the threat to the business’s interests.
On that note, it’s wise to keep agreements as short in length as possible. An agreement that is more than two years long may not be enforceable if challenged in court. 
Non-compete Agreement Georgia Geographic Limitations
Georgia code limits the geographic scope to only areas where employees provided services or had significant presence or influence. It’s possible that there could be disagreement about what that area may be. However, it is advisable to limit the geographic scope of the agreement as narrow as possible to make sure the agreement is enforceable.
- Enforceable when terminated without cause? Yes
- Employee non-solicitation agreement permitted? Yes
- Customer non-solicitation agreements permitted? Yes
- Does continuing employment equal sufficient consideration? Yes
Blue Penciling Allowed
According to § 13-8-53(d) “so long as the modification does not render the covenant more restrictive with regard to the employee than as originally drafted by the parties.”, then in Georgia, a court may modify an unenforceable or otherwise void non-compete agreement.
Georgia Non-Compete Agreement Sample
See below for a sample non-compete agreement in Georgia.