A non-compete agreement is a standard provision in healthcare contracts, such as employment agreements and practice sale agreements. The non-compete agreement prevents a dentist from poaching patients or staff members when they leave a practice (either as an associate or former practice owner). The non-compete prevents a dentist from working within a certain area for a set amount of time.
Arizona does not have any “bright-line” rules about the enforceability of non-compete agreements. Rather, courts will look to whether the non-compete is reasonable or whether it imposes an undue burden. This means that non-competes must not overly restrict a dentist’s ability to earn a living. Reasonableness will be measured in both time and geographic area, and is something that may need to be litigated. If you find yourself needing to either enforce or challenge a non-compete agreement, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney to evaluate your specific situation.
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