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June 28, 2024

FTC Non-Compete Ban: What You Need to Know as an Employer

Hey, I’m Morgan Davis, a business attorney from Raleigh, North Carolina, specializing in cannabis and wellness. Today, let’s unpack the recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruling on non-compete agreements and what it means for employers and employees.

Key Points of the FTC Rule

The FTC has finalized a rule that effectively bans non-compete agreements for most employees:

  • Effective Date: The rule prohibits entering into new non-compete agreements after 120 days from the effective date once filed with the Federal Register.
  • Existing Agreements: Existing non-compete agreements with senior executives remain enforceable. However, non-competes with other employees (current or former) are void and unenforceable.
  • Employer Obligations: Employers must notify employees currently under non-compete agreements, or those who were previously bound by them, that these agreements are no longer enforceable.

Definition and Scope

  • Definition: Non-compete agreements covered by this rule are those restricting employees from competing with their former employers post-employment, not during their tenure.
  • Exclusions: Non-solicitation provisions and non-disclosure agreements are not affected by this rule. Also, non-competes related to business sales or transactions are exempt.

Implications for Employers

This ruling marks a significant shift in how businesses can protect proprietary information and maintain client relationships, particularly in service-oriented industries like medical spas:

  • Impact on Industries: Service-based businesses, where client loyalty to specific providers is crucial, will face challenges. Employees, once bound by non-competes, now have more freedom to pursue opportunities without restrictions post-employment.
  • Litigation and Future Changes: Anticipated legal challenges may influence the interpretation and application of this rule in the future. Employers should stay informed about potential updates or modifications.

Moving Forward

If you’re an employer navigating these changes or seeking alternative ways to protect your business interests without non-compete agreements, consider legal consultations:

  • Compliance Strategies: Explore other tools like non-solicitation clauses or robust non-disclosure agreements to safeguard proprietary information and client relationships.
  • Legal Counsel: Discuss current compliance with the FTC rule and future-proofing your employer-employee relationships in light of these regulatory shifts.


The FTC’s ban on non-compete agreements aims to promote employee mobility and opportunities while challenging traditional methods of protecting business interests. For tailored advice or further clarification on how this rule impacts your business, reach out for a consultation. We’re here to help navigate these changes and ensure your business remains protected and compliant.

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