I got my first job offer, and in the offer it says:

After joining service with us, you will undertake not to seek any employment with our competitors for a period of (2) two years from the date of termination, resignation or completion of your service without the prior approval of the company.

I would like to accept the offer but the salary is not enough even after negotiating. Can I ask for a contract without a non compete and will that solve the problem just in case I get a better offer? If so, how can I negotiate to have an unlimited contract and does this mean I can leave the company at any time?

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    Conditions like this are often not legally binding. You should check the legal situation in your country/state and just ignore any conditions which are not legal.
    – Edgar
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:45
  • You write "the salary its not enough even after negotiating", does that mean all contract negotiations are done? You can always voice your concerns and wishes, just be prepared to walk away in case they don't (want to) change anything. What do you see as an unlimited contract? Usually you have a notice period, the length should be in the contract.
    – Caroline
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:56
  • @Edgar This sounds like a non-compete clause to me. INAL but as far as I know those are legally binding and can cause a hefty fine if broken. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 13:49
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    @EdwinLambregts: Are they legally binding all over the world? One problem with many questions here is that everybody seem to think everybody lives in the same country, "their" country...
    – Edgar
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 14:32
  • 2
    which country is this Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 14:41

4 Answers 4


I don't know where you work but here, in France, it is mandatory for the company to compensate you in order to endorse this statement (25-50% of your gross annual salary). If the company don't pay, you are free to seek another job.

Search for your local laws and past court case to see if your local laws are the same.

  • 1
    I agree with you. But it seems this is a comment and not an answer to the question which was asked.
    – Edgar
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:47
  • 1
    I can't comment anywhere for now, and I think we need more informations no provide a more complete answer. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:54
  • I haven't heard of a legal requirement of this sort before, so I'm guessing it's specific to France. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 15:40
  • @Dukeling: At least in Germany the situation is similar - but it may be specific to the EU.
    – sleske
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:46
  • In France, the clause should also be limited in time and space. For example, it is unreasonable to limit the employee from working for a competitor in a country his current company is not present.
    – Adam Smith
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 12:12

Depending upon your jurisdiction and the details of the non-compete clause, it may or may not be enforceable. You'll need to consult a local attorney to get usable advice there.

You should also get clarification about what companies (or types of companies) are considered "competitors" to this organization. As well as who determines whether another company is a competitor or not. With a broad enough definition and a jurisdiction that allows enforcement of such clauses, they could effectively prevent you from working in your chosen field at all for two years even if they fire you.

But, this may all be a moot point. If you're not satisfied with the salary even after negotiation, why worry about anything else? Just decline and move on.


In the US they are generally considered non-enforceable except for very high-level jobs (think C-level or similar).

Keep in mind, if you are in sales, they may have recourse if you leave and take clients with you, especially if you have a non-compete.


The key part of your question seems to me to be "I would like to accept the offer but the salary is not enough even after negotiating." The 2-year non-compete clause just makes the salary problem even worse.

Sometimes, your best option is to walk away. This appears to be one of those times.

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