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Gunster corporate lawyer David G. Bates writes about contracts and business agreements for The Business Journals.

In his latest articles, he identifies a variety of ways in which contracts can be too vague for (legal) comfort, and how to improve the noncompete agreements your business uses to protect its trade secrets and confidential information.

Contracts with unspecified periods of time, vague standards (“reasonable efforts”) or timelines (“as soon as practical”), and ambiguous language (identifying a dollar amount but not more specific payment terms) should be avoided, Bates says in his June 5 article. Entrepreneurs should take the time to precisely agree on all terms in any contract they plan to sign.

Gunster attorney David BatesIn his July 31 article about noncompete agreements, Bates provides a checklist to consider before utilizing particular language in a noncompete.

For example, using the same form regardless of employee or position or asking for more than is reasonable (in scope, geographic region, or duration) may create a noncompete agreement that is unenforceable.

Because enforceable noncompetes are the lifeblood of an emerging business, Bates says, it is critical to carefully review existing agreements and be careful before entering into new noncompetes.

Read the articles now:

See Bates’ page on the Business Journals website for all his articles published by the media organization.

David G. Bates serves on Gunster’s board of directors, and is co-chair of the firm’s technology & emerging companies law practice.

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