Business owners work hard to build their enterprises. Often, doing so involves grooming star employees, developing customer lists, proprietary products and methods, trade secrets and other recipes for success that owners do not want to leave the business. In Florida, non-compete agreements can help to protect a business's secrets and prevent them from falling into the hands of a competitor.
These days, employees cannot always be expected to spend their entire careers with a single company. They may leave to work for another company or even start their own business in the same industry. And, in doing so, they may be tempted to use the knowledge they gained from a former employer. This is where a non-compete agreement can be crucial.
A non-compete agreement is a contract that an employee enters into with an employer. In the contract, the employee agrees not to use the secrets they learn while working for the company to compete with the company or to give them to competitor. In some cases, a non-compete agreement may limit the geographical area in which a former employee can work, or prevent them from working in the same industry for a certain time period.
If a former employee violates the terms of the contract, their former employee can start legal action to enforce the terms of the non-compete agreement. Many jurisdictions restrict the limitations, particularly geographic or temporal, that non-compete agreements can place on former employees. California, in fact, bars many types of non-compete agreements altogether.
The best way to ensure that a non-compete agreement will be enforceable -- or to challenge its enforceability -- is to consult an experienced business litigation attorney. They can assist one in crafting the contract. And, a seasoned attorney can help to make sure it holds up in court.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Creating an Enforceable Noncompete Agreement," accessed on Jan. 10, 2018