Do you want to make sure that the confidential information of your business is protected? If so, you might be interested in a Washington non-compete agreement. This is a helpful document that you can use to limit your confidential information from being shared with a competitor. They can cover current and former employees for a certain amount of time, but you must make sure your non-compete agreement in Washington is legally enforceable.
Is a Non-Compete Legally Enforceable in Washington?
Yes, a non-compete agreement is legally enforceable in Washington, but you need to structure it carefully. Remember that the purpose of non-compete agreements in Washington is to prevent confidential business information from being shared. If the non-compete agreement is unduly harsh on the employee, it could be thrown out in court. Therefore, it is important to take a closer look at how non-compete agreements in Washington should be structured. 
As a rule of thumb, non-compete agreements in Washington can be used to protect customer information and contacts. The main purpose of this agreement is to prevent current and former employees from using customer information and contacts to poach business down the road. In addition, non-compete agreements in Washington can be used to cover goodwill.
Reasonable Use and Exemptions
For a non-compete agreement in Washington to be legally enforceable, it has to be necessary to protect the employer’s business. The restriction cannot be greater than is reasonably necessary to ensure the employer’s goodwill and business are properly protected.
Furthermore, there has to be notice provided before the acceptance of the offer or before the agreement can become legally binding. An agreement that lasts longer than 18 months is not enforceable under Washington law. Finally, non-compete agreements in Washington cannot go against the interest of the public. If a non-compete agreement in Washington is found to violate any of the criteria above, the employer could be responsible for covering the attorney’s fees of the employee. 
- Enforceable when terminated without cause? Yes
- Employee non-solicitation agreement permitted? Yes
- Customer non-solicitation agreements permitted? Yes
- Does continuing employment equal sufficient consideration? No
Non-Compete Agreement Washington Limitations
It is critical for everyone to be aware of limitations regarding non-compete agreements and Washington. If the agreement violates any of the limitations below, it could be thrown out by a judge.
Limitations on time
A non-compete agreement in Washington generally should not last longer than 18 months. While it can last longer in some situations, a non-compete lasting longer than 18 months is likely to be challenged and the employer would have to present a clear and obvious reason why the non-compete should be longer than 18 months. If a non-compete agreement in Washington is breached, the statute of limitations within which a lawsuit has to be brought is 6 years.
Non-compete agreement Washington geographical limitations
Even though there are no specific non-compete agreement geographical limitations in Washington, the restrictions cannot be unduly harsh. This means that the employer must be able to justify why specific geographic limitations have been put in place. If they cannot be justified, the agreement might be thrown out.
Washington Non-Compete Agreement Sample
If you are writing a non-compete agreement, we have a helpful Washington non-compete agreement template, which you can download in PDF or Word format: