Will having a non-compete agreement really protect your business?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2017 | Blog, Firm News |

If you own a Florida business, you know how important it is to protect certain information. For certain types of businesses, proprietary information is a crucial part of success, and knowing how to shield this type of information from improper use is essential. One way to protect your business is through the drafting and implementation of non-compete agreements.

Many employers require that incoming employees sign these agreements. These agreements essentially prevent an employee from taking certain types of material or information and using it for the benefit of the competition. While these agreements are relatively common, correctly drafting these agreements can have a direct impact on their enforceability in case of a dispute.

Making sure your non-compete agreement is valid

When drafting non-compete agreements, you would be wise to take every precaution to ensure that yours is strong and remains valid, even after a length of time. In order to do this, include the following elements in your non-compete agreement:

  • Proof that it protects a genuine business interest
  • Documentation of consideration at the time of signing
  • Reasonable terms related to scope, duration and geographical limits

Your non-compete agreement may come under scrutiny if your employee decides to leave your company and work for a competing business. However, taking the above elements into consideration when drafting, negotiating and signing contracts can be a significant step in protecting your interests.

Reasonable terms can protect your business

If a non-compete agreement is unreasonable, it will be less likely to hold up under scrutiny. While the protection of your business interests is your main concern, your non-compete agreement cannot violate the rights of your employees. Additionally, employees should be aware of the terms of the contract before they sign.

In the event of a dispute, the court may weigh your business interests against the terms of your agreement. These terms should not be too broad but specific enough to cover your particular concerns.

The future of your business

You may not think that you need a non-compete agreement, but in reality, it could be a legitimate way by which to protect yourself in the future. By taking precautionary measures now, you may be able to avoid complications regarding your protected information and your competition.

If a non-compete agreement is in the best interests of your business, you would be wise to secure appropriate guidance to ensure that your contract is reasonable, enforceable and tailored to your individual needs and objectives.

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