Six insurance agents in Ohio signed non-compete agreements with their agency, saying that they wouldn’t compete with the agency or solicit business from its clients for two years after they left work.
The agency then underwent a series of business transactions in which it merged with other agencies and ended up being owned by another company.
After the six agents left work and began soliciting clients, the new company went to court to stop them, claiming that they had violated the non-compete agreements.
But the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the agents. It said that the original non-compete agreements applied only to the original agency, and that when that agency got merged and swallowed up by other companies, the agreements didn’t carry over.
This is a complex area of law, and the rules vary from state to state and from case to case. We’d be happy to advise you if this is an area of concern.