Protecting a Business’s Best Interests
To gain a competitive edge, a business often takes steps to protect its trade secrets and other confidential data. The company may also invest money into specialized training of its employees with the expectation that the employee will add value back to the business.
A non-compete agreement protects a business’s confidential information and its investment in its employees’ specialized training by preventing its competitors from benefiting from these valuable assets.
Gunterfirm is a Naples-based employment and labor law firm established 18 years ago by a Florida Bar Certified employment and labor law attorney. Our firm advises businesses on drafting comprehensible, enforceable non-compete agreements that protect their best interests. When an employee violates a non-compete provision, we aggressively defend the business in litigation.
Purpose of a Non-Compete
Florida statutes require non-compete provisions to have a legitimate business interest, which might include:
- Preventing disclosure of a company’s trade secrets
- Protecting confidential business information that does not meet the definition of “trade secret”
- Preventing the competition from usurping customer relationships
- Upholding the company’s reputation and goodwill associated with its trademark, geographic location, or marketing area
- Protecting the business’s investment in specialized training of its employees
Scope of a Non-Compete Agreement
Provisions of a non-compete that reach outside the scope of a legitimate business interest are unenforceable. Whether an agreement places overly broad restrictions on the geographic, market, duties or time aspects of future employment depends upon the type, size and market of the business and the duties of the employee.
For example, a multi-national corporation that sells its product across the globe could impose a non-compete in a large geographic area, whereas Florida might be too far a range for a small business with one Naples location. Likewise, the contract cannot ban a sales representative from transferring to another sales position entirely, only a position selling a competing product within an appropriate geographic and market area. A non-compete agreement also must have a reasonable expiration date, usually not more than two years in Florida.
Enforcing a Non-Compete Provision
A business that suspects its employee has violated a non-compete agreement should take immediate action to mitigate damages. Our Fort Myers non-compete attorney pursues the relief a business is entitled to using the following methods:
- Cease and desist letter: We may formally ask the perpetrator to stop violating our client’s contractual rights, which is often enough to prevent further infringement.
- Injunctive relief: A judge may impose a temporary injunction on the employee while the case goes through litigation or a permanent injunction once a violation has been proven.
- Monetary damages: Monetary damages may include loss of business revenue, damage to reputation, interference with competition and costs associated with the breach.
Protect Trade Secrets and Training Investments with Non-Compete Contracts
Gunterfirm protects Naples and Fort Myers businesses with well-drafted non-compete agreements. For more information about how you can protect your business’s best interests, call our employment and labor law firm at 239.334.7017 or contact us online to schedule your free first consultation.
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