When two multi-million dollar companies engage in similar business dealings, it can be important for those companies to protect their individual interests. That is why many Florida companies have non-compete agreements in place to protect confidential information and make sure that their business continues to thrive and grow in the community.
Many times, employers require employees to sign non-competition agreements to ensure that they do not reveal confidential information to a competitor upon leaving the company. These agreements, however, can apply to anyone who interacts with the company and comes across confidential information or information that can dramatically impact the business overall. While not all employees need to sign these agreements, all types of employees may be subjected to them, including directors, officers and administrative assistants.
Non-competition agreements operate similarly to contracts. Both parties must agree to the terms of the contract and provide consideration. The agreement must clearly discuss what information needs to be kept confidential and the duration of the agreement. If one party fails to adhere to the terms of the contract, then the other party may sue them for breach of contract.
However, not all non-compete agreements will be upheld in court. For example, if the agreement goes beyond the scope of protecting a business or lasts for an unreasonable period of time, a judge may find the agreement to be invalid. The agreement must also benefit both parties in some way. The idea of a non-compete agreement is not to eliminate fair competition, but rather to ensure that a company's hard-earned success is protected.
This area of the law can get messy, as there is often a lot at stake. Therefore, those dealing with business disputes, such an issue involving a non-compete agreement, should consider seeking legal counsel.
Source: Chron, "Non-Competition Agreements Between Businesses," Marie Huntington, accessed on March 21, 2017