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Updated July 29, 2022

An Oklahoma non-compete agreement is not allowed for the use of restricting a former employee from working in the same business as the employer. In Oklahoma, any contract that puts a “restrain” on an individual is to that extent void.

Although, a non-compete is legal for use when purchasing a business (to protect the buyer) and for partners in a dissolving entity. Must be limited by a specific time period and territory.

Legally Enforceable?

  • Employees : No , for employment purposes a non-compete is prohibited in Oklahoma. ( Okla. Stat. tit. 15 § 217 )
  • Transfer of a Business (“goodwill”) : Yes , a non-compete is legal against a seller of a business from working in the same industry for the areas served by the selling entity. ( Okla. Stat. tit. 15 § 218 )
  • Partnership Dissolution : Yes , a non-compete is legal for the partners in a dissolving partnership from starting or participating in the same business by the entity. ( Okla. Stat. tit. 15 § 219 )

Statute (employment)

Every contract by which any one is restrained from exercising a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind, otherwise than as provided by Sections 218 and 219 of this title, or otherwise than as provided by Section 2 of this act, is to that extent void.

Maximum Term

5 years have been deemed reasonable by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Source: Wall v. Chapman (1921)

Geographical Area

A non-compete should only cover counties , cities , and towns the business or partnership serves. The geographical area should not be overbroad and will be deemed unreasonable if it expands beyond where the business serves.

Source: Eakle v. Grinnell Corp. (2003)

Blue Penciling

An Oklahoma court may strike out portions of an agreement to make it enforceable under bbin电竞官网官方永久 law. ( Cardiovascular Surgical Specialists, Corp. v. Mammana (2002)

Although, the court will not amend an agreement “if the essential elements of the contract must be supplied.” ( Cohen Realty, Inc. v. Marinick (1991) )