The courts are also of the view that the non-compete agreement is likely to have an effect on others, such as customers and other beneficiaries of a business. If the public has alternative sources for obtaining goods or services provided by the seller, North Carolina courts will be more likely to impose non-competitive restrictions on the seller. However, where a court finds that the elimination of the seller`s competition would be detrimental to the public interest, it is less likely that the agreement will be implemented, even if it would otherwise be appropriate. A non-competition clause is a contractual restriction of the general principles of free trade and free competition. Such a restriction may be necessary to protect certain economic values (know-how, customers, etc.) when buying a business. As part of a share purchase transaction, the buyer wishes to introduce a non-compete clause in the share purchase agreement in order to protect the value of his investment. To be valid and enforceable, the non-competitive business must be explicitly and clearly defined and meet certain criteria. Under a non-competition clause, one of the parties, usually the seller, renounces to engage in a specific professional activity, vulnerable to competition with the target company. In order to limit the risk of misappropriation of target customers, a well-informed buyer will negotiate a clause limiting the seller`s right to participate in competing transactions. In the event of a purchase of a business, obtaining an effective competition agreement from the seller is usually an important part of the transaction in order to protect the buyer`s business interests after the conclusion. Determining the applicability of a non-competitive agreement requires a factual analysis that depends on the location of the business, the nature of the work done by the seller and the applicable public law. In addition, overly restrictive competition agreements are found to be contrary to public policy and scrutinized by the courts.
From the buyer`s point of view, it is recommended that an uncompetitive, reasonable agreement in one context not be acceptable in another case. A buyer should ensure that its specific competition restrictions are specifically tailored to the physical requirements of applicability in the current circumstances and it is recommended that a buyer work with the assistance of his or her lawyer in this critical decision. A buyer should also think deeply about a non-compete agreement in a reasonable geographic area, given the nature of the business, the location of customers and other factors that may influence competition. The requirement more than what a company needs to protect itself from unfair competition from the seller may take the form of legal action if the seller argues (yes, even after accepting the non-competition clause) that the geographic area to which it has consented is wider than necessary to protect the activity and should be reformed by a court. However, since the welfare of the free market must be protected, certain restrictions are allowed. This is why Belgian and European law, under non-competitive clauses in share purchase contracts, allow certain restrictions limited to freedom of competition. The most important test is that the non-competition clause must be necessary for the implementation of the agreement. For example, if there were no such clause, it is to be expected that the implementation of the agreement would be more uncertain, more costly for the purchaser and would take longer. In short, competition bans in Texas must be linked to a legitimate and reasonable commercial interest. For example, a company that sells cars should not have a non-compete ban on the former owner who prohibits the sale of bicycles.