Non-Compete Release Form

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Updated February 02, 2023

A non-compete release form waives all liability related to restrictions that prohibit a person from working in a specific business or industry. This is common for past employees that signed an employment contract that included a non-compete clause and desire to be released from its restrictions. Unless there is a benefit to the holder of the non-compete, such as direct payment, it can be difficult to get a release.

Proposed Non-Compete Ban: Jan. 5, 2023

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a new rule that would declare non-compete agreements to be “an unfair method of competition,” prohibiting businesses from using them with their workers. Non-competes in the sale of a business would still be allowed.

The rule is not yet in effect, and must undergo at least 60 days of public comment and a 180-day waiting period; it may also be delayed by litigation. But if implemented, the rule could have far-reaching implications for firms and workers throughout the country, including for non-compete agreements that were already in effect before the rule was announced.

How to Get a Release (4 steps)

  1. Check Applicable Laws
  2. Request the Release
  3. Negotiate the Terms
  4. Sign the Release Form

1. Check Applicable Laws

In recent years, many states have enacted stricter non-compete laws. Many employers have had a difficult time keeping up with the changes and there is a chance a non-compete covenant was not written in accordance with state laws.

Prohibited States – California, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Washington D.C.

In the 47 states where non-competes are legal, there must be a specific time period and geographical area attributed to the restraint. If not, the non-compete can be determined to be unenforceable.

2. Request the Release

Asking for a release is no easy task. It’s best to either offer money or other valuable consideration in exchange to be let out of the restraint. It is recommended to write an e-mail in accordance with the following sample letter:

Letter Requesting Release from a Non-Compete

Dear [NAME],

As you may know, I signed a previous agreement that restricts my ability to work in my skilled profession. At the time of signing, I did not understand the undue hardship this would put on me and my ability to make a living.

I am writing this letter and desperately requesting a release from this non-compete restraint. I am  willing to offer payment or other valuable consideration in exchange for this request.

Please contact me at any time to further discuss this matter at [TELEPHONE] or [E-MAIL].



3. Negotiate the Terms

The terms of the release should be negotiated in good faith. The restrained party should always present that, at any time, they can move outside the geographical area the non-compete is bound. Therefore, the holder of the non-compete does not have unlimited leverage.

4. Sign the Release Form

Write the terms of the release in a legal document and send it for signature. Immediately after the parties’ sign, the restrained party will be released from the non-compete.

Keep in mind that a non-compete release does not release the recipient from other contractual obligations post-termination. This may include withholding confidential information (trade secrets), non-solicitation, non-defamation, and any other terms to protect the previous employer.

Sample Release Form

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I. THE PARTIES. This Release of Non-Compete Agreement (“Release”) made this [DATE] (“Effective Date”) is by and between:

Releasor: [RELEASOR NAME], with a mailing address of [RELEASOR ADDRESS] (“Releasor”), and

Releasee: [RELEASEE NAME], with a mailing address of [RELEASEE ADDRESS] (“Releasee”).

The Releasee and the Releasor are each referred to herein as a “Party” and collectively as the “Parties.”

II. PRIOR AGREEMENT. This Release is in connection with a prior agreement made on [DATE] between the Parties that contains a non-compete covenant held by the Releasor and that the Releasee is bound (“Non-Compete”).

III. THE EXCHANGE. This Release is being offered to the Releasee in exchange for: (check one)

☐ – No payment.
☐ – Payment of $[#]
☐ – Other. [OTHER]

IV. THE RELEASE. This Release is strictly to hold the Releasee harmless and free of liability against any claims related to the Non-Compete mentioned in the prior agreement. Beginning on the Effective Date, the Releasee shall be free of any such claims.

V. NON-WAIVABLE TERMS. This Release does not waive any other obligations of the Releasee in the prior agreement, including but not limited to, confidentiality, trade secrets, non-disparagement, non-solicitation, and any other terms meant to protect the interests of the Releasor.

Releasor Signature: __________________________ Date: _____________
Print Name: __________________________

Releasee Signature: __________________________ Date: _____________
Print Name: __________________________