Is My Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable in Miami?
Whether or not your non-compete agreement is enforceable in Miami depends upon a wide range of factors and the circumstances involved. When these agreements are well-drafted and comply with the relevant laws, they are generally enforceable, so a better understanding of the basics can help. If you have a question or concern regarding whether or not your non-compete agreement is enforceable, the first order of business is reaching out to an experienced Miami non-compete agreement lawyer for the legal guidance you need.
What Is a Non-Compete Agreement?
Before you can determine if your non-compete agreement is enforceable, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what a non-compete agreement is. These agreements are also known as covenants not to compete, and at their heart, they represent a legal agreement in which one party promises not to compete (in a specific area of business) with the other party involved, often for a specific amount of time and within a specific geographic area. Such agreements commonly show up in employment contracts, offer letters, and in the sale of businesses.
What Kind of Restrictions Does a Non-Compete Impose?
The kinds of restrictions that non-compete agreements generally impose include:
- A former employee or partner’s right to work for the employer’s competition (sometimes the employers that are off-limits are explicitly stated in the agreement itself)
- A former employee or partner’s right to start a business in direct competition with the employer
- A former employee or partner’s right to solicit clients or any other resource, such as other employees from the employer
- A former employee or partner’s right to use critical business data that belongs to the employer, including client lists
Is Your Florida Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable?
Whether you are an employer or an employee, the question of whether or not your Florida non-compete agreement is enforceable can be a critical concern. In many instances, these agreements are enforceable in Florida, but they must meet the specific requirements set forth by Florida law. Cases related to the enforceability of non-compete agreements tend to be exceptionally complex, and having the professional legal counsel of an experienced Miami restrictive covenants attorney on your side is always in your best interest.
Making Your Florida Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable
There are three standards that must be met for your non-compete agreement to be enforceable.
The Agreement Must Be in Writing
Simply telling your employer or partner that you plan on enforcing a non-compete agreement in the future– or being told by your employer – does not make a non-compete enforceable. In Florida, the non-compete agreement must be in writing for it to be enforceable.
There Must Be a Legitimate Business Reason
Not wanting an employee or partner to compete with your business is understandable, but it does not amount to a legitimate business interest that will support enforcing a non-compete agreement. Legitimate business interests that may support a non-compete agreement are:
- Trade secrets, which amount to methods, patterns, formulas, devices, techniques, and more that are associated with independent economic value and that, therefore, legitimately require reasonable efforts related to privacy
- Valuable and confidential business information that doesn’t otherwise qualify as a trade secret (customer lists are a prime example)
- Significant relationships with existing or potential customers, clients, patients, and the like
- The goodwill generated from a professional practice or business line
- The goodwill associated with a specific geographic location or a specific trade or marketing area
- Any specialized or extraordinary training involved
This list is not exhaustive, and getting to the bottom of whether or not your non-compete agreement is enforceable may require the assistance of an experienced non-compete attorney.
The Restraints Must Be Reasonable
An enforceable non-compete agreement cannot include whatever restraints you (or your employer) feel like including. Instead, a judge will review the restraints included in an agreement to ensure they are reasonable. If any aspect of the non-compete is found to be unreasonable, the court can limit the restrictions in the agreement or even void the agreement, potentially rendering it unenforceable. There are also basic presumptions regarding the amount of time a non-compete agreement can reasonably be enforced that must be taken into consideration.
Is Your Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable? An Experienced Miami Non-Competition Attorney Can Help
If you have questions or concerns related to your, or your business’s, non-compete agreement’s enforceability, you should seek the professional legal guidance only an experienced Miami non-compete agreement attorney can provide. Because protecting your business (or career) is paramount, you should not wait to reach out and contact or call us for more information about how we can help today.