A non-compete agreement is a contract between an employer and employee in which the employee agrees to abide by specific restrictions on competition if his employment terminates. Regardless of the terms of your non-compete agreement, courts do not desire you to be forced out of employment or out of your profession. Both parties to the agreement will need to authorize it, in order to make the noncompete agreement legally binding. The enforceability of any non-compete agreement is highly reliant on the individual circumstances of the parties to the provisions the agreement contains. A court might refuse to enforce the non-compete agreement if an employer first breached a provision of the employment contract. There are good reasons for an employer to have an employee authorize a non-compete agreement, and hiring a qualified, experienced attorney can help assist the individual or small business in forming, enforcing or settling a dispute arising as a result of a non-compete agreement. Call to discuss the following with one of our experienced attorneys:

  • Non-Compete
  • Non-Solicitation
  • Non-Disclosure
  • Trade Secrets
  • Intellectual Property
  • Enforceability of Non-Complete Agreements
  • Fairness & other Considerations to Function, Duration and Scope of Non-Compete Agreement & Restrictions

Noncompete Agreements Formed Between Employers And Employees

Employees and employers considering reviewing existing non-compete agreements or entering into non-compete agreements should consult with an experienced attorney regarding key questions that will help determine whether their non-compete agreements will be enforceable. A quickly emerging area of litigation involves disputes concerning non-competition, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements between employers and their former employees. Businesses frequently require new employees, and sometimes even current employees, to authorize non-competition agreements. If you are an individual or business with general questions or specific questions regarding Florida law and concerning non-compete agreements call The Curry Law Firm today.

Leaving a job from which you have signed a non-compete agreement and seeking new employment

In most cases, employers will seek to restrict an employee from soliciting current clients and preventing those clients from doing business with the former employee by way of a signed non-solicitation agreement. Some employees who leave their employers may desire to take an employee with them to their new employer. Non-compete agreements may specifically prohibit recruiting co-workers, in addition to preventing a former employee from working in the identical field for 1-2 years depending on the terms of the non-compete. Some employers may seek to prevent you from competing for a five or 10-year period. The concern about non-compete agreements does not frequently arise until the employee leaves employment or is considering the expectation of leaving.

Trade Secrets And Confidential Information

Employers use non-compete and non-disclosure agreements frequently to protect trade secrets and discourage valuable employees from moving to competing firms. Companies frequently ask new employees to enter into non-compete agreements to help the employer protect its intellectual property. Businesses will frequently seek to enforce non-compete and confidentiality agreements to protect their valuable trade secrets, proprietary and confidential information. If you frequently spend countless hours training your employees, as a business employer you should consider protecting yourself from former employees who may try to use confidential business information to their advantage. One of the most obvious reasons for a company to protect itself is preventing others from stealing its employees who have access to sensitive intellectual property and/or close knowledge of your trade secrets.


Scope & Geographic Restrictions to Non-Complete Agreements

The length of time spent with an employer may impact the enforceability of a non-compete agreement. Long term employees, especially those with access to inside information, trade secrets and/or intellectual property, present a much greater liability and risk of damage to the company when leaving. Often Non-Compete Agreements frequently provide geographic limits regarding where the employee can work as well as a contractual duration. Generally the restriction on the employee must be no greater than essential to protect the employer. To determine whether an employer has met its burden, a court will view the function, duration and scope of the restriction and whether the agreement is reasonable as a whole.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area and are dealing with an employee or you yourself are an employee dealing with a corporation and have questions or concerns about a Non-Complete Agreement based on the laws of the State of Florida, you should consult with one of our qualified attorneys for individual advice regarding your specific situation right away.