Non-competition Clause in Asset Purchase Agreements: A Guide
When a company wants to purchase the assets of another company, it is common for the two parties to enter into an asset purchase agreement (APA) to outline the terms of the sale. One of the provisions that is often included in an APA is a non-competition clause, which limits the ability of the seller to compete with the buyer’s business after the sale is completed.
What is a non-competition clause?
A non-competition clause is a provision that prohibits the seller of the assets from engaging in a similar business or business activities that would compete with the buyer’s business. The purpose of a non-competition clause is to protect the buyer’s investment by preventing the seller from using the knowledge and resources gained during the sale to compete with the buyer’s business.
What are the key considerations when drafting a non-competition clause?
When drafting a non-competition clause, it is important to consider the following issues:
1. Scope: The clause should clearly define the geographic scope and duration of the restriction. The scope should be reasonable, and not overly broad, as it may be deemed unenforceable. The duration should be limited to a reasonable amount of time to allow the seller to get back into the market.
2. Exceptions: The clause should also include exceptions, if any, such as allowing the seller to conduct a similar business in a different geographic area.
3. Consideration: The seller must receive some form of consideration for agreeing to the non-compete clause. The consideration can be monetary or non-monetary, such as a reduction in the purchase price or a promise of future work.
4. Enforceability: The non-compete clause must be enforceable under applicable law. In some jurisdictions, non-compete clauses are strictly scrutinized and must meet certain requirements to be enforceable.
Why is a non-competition clause important?
A non-competition clause is important for the buyer as it protects their investment and ensures that the seller is not able to compete with their business in the same market. It also helps to maintain the value of the assets that have been purchased.
For the seller, a non-competition clause may be important to negotiate properly to protect their future. The seller may wish to enter a similar business or industry in the future and may need to ensure that the scope of the non-compete clause is limited in a way that allows them to do so.
In conclusion, a non-competition clause is a critical provision in an asset purchase agreement. It is important that the clause is drafted with care and consideration for both the buyer and seller, and that it is enforceable under applicable law. A copy editor with experience in SEO can ensure that the language used in the non-competition clause is clear and easy to understand, thus avoiding any potential ambiguity or confusion.