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Are there holes in your non-compete agreement?

If you are currently bound by the terms of a non-compete agreement, you can find that your options for the future greatly hinge on that document.

As an employer, you can have the confidence of knowing that sensitive or confidential information about your company is protected and won't be released by employees who find jobs elsewhere. As an employee, you may find that you are prohibited from working in certain capacities for some time if you leave your current job. Considering how much this document can affect those involved, it can be crucial to make sure it is actually enforceable.

If a non-compete agreement is not properly drafted and signed, it may be deemed unenforceable. This means that like any other type of contract, it should be in writing and neither party should be coerced or threatened into signing it.

A non-compete agreement can also be invalid if it is overly restrictive. This means companies should be reasonable and not overly-restrictive when it comes to setting limits on geography, time and industry. A contract that unreasonably limits an employee can be challenged and dismissed. 

Finally, these agreements may be voided if they are determined to be unnecessary or of no benefit to the employee. This means that there must be sufficient reason to have this contract such as the protection of trade secrets or other company-specific information while also providing some incentive to the employee, such as a job offer.

The relationship between employers and employees may only be as good as the contracts they sign. If those contracts are unfair or unenforceable, they can be challenged. This can create contentious disputes that disrupt a business and jeopardize an employee's future.

Whether you are an employer or an employee with questions or concerns about a non-compete agreement in Orlando, it can be crucial that you discuss them with an attorney familiar with contract laws in this state in order to address or avoid legal complications.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Creating an Enforceable Noncompete Agreement," accessed on Jan. 12, 2016

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