In an article from a few months ago, I wrote about how Oklahoma law categorically invalidates non compete agreements. Oklahoma has made a public policy decision that with a couple of exceptions employees will not be barred from competing. Below are the exceptions to the rule that Oklahoma non-compete agreements are barred:
1. When you sell the goodwill of a business. When a business sells their interest in the business including the goodwill, Oklahoma law allows a non compete agreement between the seller and buyer. While “goodwill” is an intangible assets and often difficult to define, in Oklahoma it generally means the “custom or patronage of any established trade or business; the benefit or advantage of having established a business and secured its patronage by the public.”
2. Business Partners splitting up. A non compete agreement is also allowed when a business with multiple owners or partners dissolves. In anticipation of a dissolution of the partnership, the partners may agree that none of them will carry on a similar business within a specified county and any county or counties contiguous thereto, or a specified city or town or any part thereof.
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