How do Texas noncompete agreements affect independent contractors?

August 21, 2016 / By Robert Wood

Does the Texas noncompete statute apply to independent contractors as well as employees?

noncompete-agreements-independent-contractor-texas
Although there is not much case law on this, the answer is almost certainly yes.

One case in particular out of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals dealt with a noncompete agreement dispute involving an independent contractor. Neither the company attempting to enforce the noncompete nor the independent contractor who signed it contended that the legal standard governing restrictive covenants should be any different when a contractor is involved.

Also, in its legal analysis, the court applied the same legal standards applicable to a contract signed by an employee.

Of course, whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, any contractual restraint of trade, to be valid, must meet certain statutory requirements. Under Texas law, the covenant not to compete must be supported by valid consideration.

Also, the restrictions must be reasonable. Thus, while binding an independent contractor is possible under the Texas noncompete statute, the usual statutory requirements must be observed.

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About the Author

Robert Wood has been a Texas trial lawyer since 1993. During that time, he has represented small, mid-sized, and Fortune 100 companies in business and employment litigation matters all over Texas and the United States. He has also advised and represented hundreds of individuals in employment litigation matters. Read more about Robert Wood