Non-Compete Agreement Iowa

Non-Compete Agreements in Iowa: What You Need to Know

If you`re a business owner in Iowa, you may be considering implementing a non-compete agreement as a way to protect your company`s intellectual property and trade secrets. However, before you start drafting a non-compete agreement, it`s important to understand the legal landscape in Iowa regarding these types of agreements.

What is a Non-Compete Agreement?

A non-compete agreement is a legal contract between an employer and employee that restricts the ability of the employee to work for a competing business for a certain period of time after leaving their current employer. These agreements aim to prevent employees from sharing confidential information or trade secrets with competitors which could harm their previous employer`s business.

What Does Iowa Law Say About Non-Compete Agreements?

Iowa law holds that non-compete agreements are only enforceable if they are reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic area. A non-compete agreement must also be supported by adequate consideration, such as a salary increase or promotion, in exchange for the employee agreeing to the restriction.

In addition, Iowa law places a cap on the length of time a non-compete agreement can be enforced. A non-compete agreement cannot exceed two years, except in limited circumstances. For example, an employer may be able to enforce a longer non-compete agreement if the employee receives specialized training or the employer has a legitimate business interest that requires a longer restriction.

What Happens if a Non-Compete Agreement is Unenforceable?

If a non-compete agreement is found to be unreasonable or unenforceable, it will not be enforced by the courts. In this case, the employee will be free to work for a competing business without fear of legal repercussions.

It`s important to note that if an employer tries to enforce an unenforceable non-compete agreement, the employee may be able to seek damages for any harm caused by the attempt to enforce an invalid agreement.


Non-compete agreements can be a useful tool for employers in Iowa to protect their business`s confidential information and trade secrets. However, these agreements must be reasonable in scope, duration, and geographic area, and must be supported by adequate consideration. If you have any questions or concerns regarding non-compete agreements in Iowa, it`s important to consult with an experienced legal professional.

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