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Updated July 28, 2022

A Maryland non-compete agreement gives the power to restrict a person’s ability to work in a specific field for a geographical area and duration. It is usually connected to an employment contract to limit competition after an employee is terminated. In Maryland, low-wage employees or attorneys are prohibited from entering a non-compete.

Legally Enforceable?

Yes , except for the following individuals making:

  • $15 per hour or less; or
  • $31,200 annually or less.

Source: § 3-716

Adequate Consideration

A non-compete is required to provide adequate consideration (such as being ancillary to an employment contract or the sale of a business) and reasonable to the extent that:

  • Employer protection . Protects the business of the employer;
  • Undue hardship . It does not impose an undue hardship on the employee; and
  • Public interest . It is not against the public interest.

Source: Ruhl v. F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Co. (1967)  and Becker v. Bailey (1973)

Attorneys (prohibited)

A licensed attorney is prohibited from entering into a non-compete agreement.

Source: RULE 19-305.6

Continued Employment

Maryland courts have ruled that continued employment is deemed sufficient consideration for a non-compete.

Source: Simko, Inc. v. Graymar Co. (1983)

Maximum Term

A non-compete is considered reasonable for 3 years .

Source: Holloway v. Faw, Casson & Co. (1989) )

Blue Penciling

A non-compete is allowed to be modified if a non-compete is overbroad and not deliberately unreasonable.

Source: Deutsche Post Global Mail, Ltd. v. Conrad (2003)