Wisconsin Non-Compete Agreement Template

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Updated July 29, 2022

A Wisconsin non-compete agreement allows an employer to impose restrictions on an employee so that if they leave the job, they do not pose as a potential competitor. The time period and territory must be specified and are required to be “reasonable.”

Such restrictions imposed on the employee are limited and should only be reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s business interests.

Statute: § 103.465

Legally Enforceable?

Yes, as long as the employer can answer “yes” to each question in the 5-point test:

5-Point Test

  1. Is there a need to restrict the activities of the employee for the protection of the plaintiff?
  2. Is the duration too long?
  3. Is the territory being restricted considered reasonable?
  4. Are the restrictions against the employee unduly harsh or oppressive?
  5. Is the non-compete injurious to the general public?

Source: Lakeside Oil Co. v. Slutsky (1959)

Attorneys (prohibited)

An attorney is prohibited from entering into an agreement that restricts their ability to practice law in the State.

Source: SCR 20:5.6

Continued Employment

Continued employment is not sufficient consideration to validate a non-compete agreement.

“Consideration in addition to continued employment [is] required to support a covenant not to compete entered into by an existing at-will employee.”

Source: Runzheimer Int’l, Ltd. v. Friedlen (2015)

Maximum Term

Geographical Limitation

If there is no territorial restriction, a non-compete will be determined unreasonable and unenforceable.

Source: Gary Van Zeeland Talent, Inc. v. Sandas (1978)

Choice of Law

If an employer and employee agree to choose another state’s laws, it is dependent on those laws to be “reasonable” under Wisconsin.

Therefore, if laws that are more advantageous to the employer are selected, there is a good chance it will not be considered “reasonable” by a Wisconsin court.

Source: Beilfull v. Huffy Corporation (2004)

Fired for NOT signing a non-compete?

Yes, an employee can be legally fired in Wisconsin for not signing a non-compete after employment begins.

Source: Tatge v. Chambers & Owen Inc.

Blue Penciling

Wisconsin generally does not allow the amending or reforming of non-compete agreements if they are deemed unreasonable. The court has specifically stated that if any agreement provides “any unreasonable portion of the covenant not to compete voids the entire covenant even if the remaining portions would be enforceable.”

Source: Wausau Medical Center v. Asplund (1994)