Gunster corporate law and business litigation attorney Mike Freed discusses the pros – such as preventing employees from jumping ship and taking customers with them – and cons of using noncompetes.

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Will a noncompete agreement protect your business assets?

Three of the most valuable assets of businesses are trade secrets, customer relationships, and employees.

Noncompete agreements can be an effective tool to protect these assets.

Under the right circumstances and when properly drafted and implemented, noncompete agreements are enforceable in Florida.

The benefits of using noncompetes include preventing employees from jumping ship and taking customers with them, thus impeding the creation of a new competitor or the growth of an existing one. In fact, your competitors who hire a former employee who is under a noncompete agreement with you can become liable for what is known as tortious interference.

But there are limitations to noncompetes:

  • the agreements must be limited in time and also geographic scope
  • there must be what is known as a “legitimate business interest” underlying the agreement – not just the desire to avoid or impede competition
  • the costs to enforce noncompete agreements can often be high

For these reasons and others, courts are often resistant to enforcing noncompetes.

So, talk to a trusted legal adviser, one who is familiar with the law of restrictive covenants, to find out if a noncompete agreement is appropriate for your situation.


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