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Evaluating whether non-compete agreements are enforceable

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2018 | Business Litigation |

Of all of the assets that businesses in Daytona Beach value, chief among them has to be their employees. This is why if you do happen to lose an employee, your greatest fear may be that they will either immediately go to a competitor and share some of your valuable trade secrets, or try and poach some of your other employees. Many clients come to our team here at Smith Bigman Brock convinced that a non-compete agreement will prevent this, yet that depends on the nature of the agreement. If its deemed to be too restrictive, the court may actually rule that it is non-enforceable. 

That actually represents a step up in the legal treatment that such agreements have received historically in Florida. Per the Florida Bar Journal, non-compete agreements were often ruled void for decades due to them being perceived to be restraints on trade under common law. In 1996, however, the state enacted legislation meant to specifically address non-compete agreements. This new standard (found in Section 542.335 of Florida’s state statutes) says that non-compete agreements can be enforced provided that their terms are proven to be reasonable relative to time, area and line of business. What this means is that as long as your non-compete agreement is not so restrictive that a departing employee will not reasonably be able to immediately find work, the court may very well validate it. 

There is one additional element to be aware of, however. The burden will often fall to you to prove that your business’ interests would be legitimately challenged with such an agreement in place. You can learn more about protecting your company’s vital information by continuing to explore our site.