Fort Lauderdale Non-Compete Agreement Attorneys
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements in Florida, Colorado, Illinois & New Mexico
Non-compete agreements are legally binding restrictive contracts between an employer and an employee. These agreements typically prohibit an employee from directly or indirectly competing with the business for a specific length of time after employment has ended. Employers often use these contracts to protect their business interests.
Under state statute Fla. Stat. § 542.335, non-compete agreements are legal and enforceable in Florida, as well as in other states, as long as they meet certain reasonable requirements. Firstly, the restrictions outlined in a non-compete agreement must be supported by a legitimate business interest. Secondly, the agreement must not be unreasonable in scope and/or duration.
For more information about non-compete agreements or if you have been asked to sign an agreement by a current or prospective employer, contact the attorneys at USA Employment Lawyers for a free case evaluation. We represent clients in Florida, Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico.
What Are “Legitimate Business Interests?”
As previously mentioned, non-compete agreements must involve legitimate business interests in order to be considered valid and enforceable in most states. In other words, the restrictions set forth in the agreement must be designed to protect interests that provide measurable value to the business/employer.
According to Fla. Stat. § 542.335, Section 542.335(1)(b), “legitimate business interests” include:
- Trade secrets
- Confidential business information
- Valuable personal information
- Highly specialized training
- A specific, ongoing business practice
- A specific geographical market or location
- Significant relationships with current or prospective customers/clients
Essentially, a non-compete agreement is used to protect a business from unfair competition. Non-compete agreements cannot be overly broad or too restrictive or they may be deemed unenforceable by the court.
What Non-Compete Agreements Can & Cannot Do
Compared to other states, Florida non-compete agreement laws tend to slightly favor the employer. As long as a non-compete agreement is not unreasonable, it will usually be upheld by the court. In most cases, non-compete agreements with a duration of six months or less are considered reasonable, whereas those lasting over two years are not. When enforcing a non-compete agreement, the court will also look at other factors, such as geographical restrictions and the specific business interests at hand.
A valid non-compete agreement may limit your ability to obtain employment in certain industries in certain locations for a certain amount of time. However, if such an agreement is found to be unreasonable or to unjustly prevent you from securing employment, it may not be enforceable.
Contact Our Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
If you are an employee who has been asked to sign a non-compete agreement or you believe a non-compete agreement is unreasonable, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney. Similarly, if you are an employer wishing to protect your business interests, our team can help you draft or enforce a valid non-compete agreement. Our firm assists both employees and employers throughout the state of Florida and in Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico.
Reach out to USA Employment Lawyers to discuss your situation with one of our non-compete agreement lawyers in Fort Lauderdale. Call (800) 483-0998 today.