In order to protect your startup’s confidential information and intellectual property, it is generally advisable to have all employees execute an employee nondisclosure and intellectual property rights assignment agreement before commencement of their service.  When these agreements contain post-employment non-solicitation and non-competition provisions, potential employees (and their counsel) often question whether or not such non-solicitation and non-competition provisions are enforceable.  For non-solicitation provisions, the answer is that they are generally enforceable if limited to the customers, prospects and employees of the company at the time such employee terminated his or her service with the company. Unfortunately, however, the answer is not as clear with respect to non-competes.  Below is a brief overview of factors to consider when evaluating the enforceability of non-competition provisions, as well as specific details regarding the enforceability of non-competes in Washington and other states.
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