While there is no statute in Minnesota dictates how many years are considered appropriate for a non-compete agreement, Minnesota courts have almost always always considered that a (1) no competition agreement is appropriate. Two (2) years of non-competition are sometimes considered appropriate; Although some Minnesota courts have overturned such agreements. Three (3) years of non-competition prohibitions are generally considered inappropriate by Minnesota courts. These are general guidelines and should not be used to direct your particular situation. Ultimately, the court must decide what is reasonable and has the power to cut the agreement or “blue pencil” as discussed below. Second, Minnesota courts will consider whether non-competition prohibitions protect a legitimate commercial interest. A non-compete clause applies when it is necessary to protect the business or the employer`s value and is not broader to protect those interests. The increasing use of non-compete agreements is stifling the hiring process for many companies. But employers who hire an otherwise perfect candidate, subject to a non-compete clause, should not panic. Nor should the employer ignore the prohibitions on non-competition. Employers have to work quietly through the situation. Anecdotal evidence indicates that approximately nine out of ten competition disputes can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, without the need for costly litigation. The protection of confidential business information and/or trade secrets is considered a legitimate employer interest, which may be protected by a non-compete agreement in Minnesota.
If the employee had access to the company`s confidential information and/or business secrets (for example. B customer information, pricing, marketing strategies, financial information, new product developments, unique production methods or technical information), it is likely that the court concludes that the non-competition agreement serves to protect the secrecy of this information by prohibiting the employee from working for a competitor or by disclosing this information to third parties. Under Minnesota law, a non-compete agreement can be used to protect confidential information, even if that information does not amount to a “trade secret” under the Minnesota Commerce Act. Goodwill Customer Protect Goodwill Customers and Relationships is considered a legitimate employer interest that can be protected by a non-compete agreement in Minnesota. If the employee has had significant contact with customers and thus contributed to the development of the company`s good incorporating with its customers, it is likely that the court will determine that the non-competition agreement is intended to protect a legitimate interest of the employer in the form of the employer`s value. The idea is that the employer compensates the employee for setting up the customer value and that the employee should not be allowed to use this instime good by designating the employer`s clients to a competitor after the end of the employment relationship.