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Will the Florida courts uphold your noncompete agreement?

Employment contracts are part of most professional arrangements, and these documents can contain a wide range of forms and agreements. Noncompete agreements are a common inclusion in employment contracts in the State of Florida. These agreements restrict the future business and employment choices for a worker who has access to trade secrets and important business records.

The more skilled or highly-ranked the position involved in the contract, the more likely it is that the employer will require a noncompete agreement by the new hire or the individual getting promoted. Noncompete agreements may not seem like a major concern at the time that someone signs it, but it can later come back to cause issues for employees if they violate the terms of the agreement.

Employers may also have to deal with the fallout of a noncompete agreement, including taking action to enforce the agreement if a former employee violates the terms of their contract. Whether you are a business fighting against a former worker using your trade secrets or a professional, such as a doctor, who wants to either open their own practice or begin working with a new company, there are certain standards the document must meet for the courts to uphold it during litigation.

A noncompete agreement should be as specific as possible

When companies draft noncompete agreements, they should do so with enforceability and accuracy in mind. The more broad and inclusive the document, the more difficulty there may be in enforcing it at a later date.

The best noncompete agreements are specific to the position and the company involved. They specifically limit the areas in which someone should not work after leaving a company. There should also be time restrictions within the agreement for optimal enforceability.

The limits on competition should only extend within a certain geographic area, such as within so many miles of the business or operations in the same county. The restrictions should also be temporary, lasting a year or two. Indefinite noncompete agreements, as well as contracts that last many years, may not hold up under judicial scrutiny.

The person signing should receive compensation

A noncompete agreement is a contract, which means it should fulfill the basic requirements of a contract. One of the important considerations is whether both parties receive something for the execution of the contract.

A noncompete agreement signed as part of a new hire package is more enforceable than a noncompete agreement signed six months into employment without any additional compensation for the employee. The company has to offer something in return for the execution of the contract.

The careful review of your documents, as well as negotiations during the hiring process, can help protect both the business and the employee executing the agreement. If you wonder about how valid your noncompete agreement may be, you may want to seek the opinion of someone with experience in handling these unique contracts.

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