As an independent contractor, you may be asked to sign a non-compete agreement before starting a project with a client. This agreement typically prohibits you from working for a competitor or starting your own business that could compete with the client`s business for a certain period of time after the project is completed.
While non-compete agreements may be common in certain industries, they can also limit your ability to find work and earn a living as an independent contractor. Here are some things to consider before signing a non-compete agreement:
1. Understand the terms of the agreement: Make sure you fully understand the terms of the non-compete agreement before signing it. Pay attention to the length of the non-compete period, the geographic scope of the agreement, and the specific activities that are prohibited.
2. Determine the scope of the non-compete agreement: It is important to determine how broad the non-compete agreement is. Some non-compete agreements may be overly broad and prohibit you from working in your field altogether. If the agreement is too broad, it may be unenforceable in court.
3. Consider the impact on your future work: A non-compete agreement may limit your ability to find work in your field after completing the project with your current client. If you believe the non-compete agreement would significantly impact your ability to find work in the future, you may want to negotiate the terms or consider declining the project altogether.
4. Seek legal advice: If you have any concerns about signing a non-compete agreement, it is important to seek legal advice. A lawyer can review the agreement and determine whether it is enforceable and reasonable. They may also be able to negotiate the terms of the agreement on your behalf.
In conclusion, while non-compete agreements may be common in certain industries, they can also limit your ability to find work and earn a living as an independent contractor. It is important to fully understand the terms of the agreement, consider the impact on your future work, and seek legal advice before signing a non-compete agreement. By doing so, you can protect your interests as an independent contractor and ensure that any agreements you sign are fair and reasonable.