Non-compete agreements are somewhat controversial in Florida because there is more to them than meets the eye. The state has specific requirements for an agreement of this kind to be enforceable. This can be confusing for businesses and employees alike.
What are non-compete agreements?
A non-compete agreement is a contract between parties in which one party agrees not to engage in business activities that competes with the other party. Florida has strict requirements about what a non-compete agreement can and cannot include to be valid and enforceable.
For example, non-compete agreements must have a legitimate business interest and be reasonable in scope, among other requirements. This can lead to confusion because what is reasonable to one party may not necessarily be reasonable to another, even when the law does its best to define the meaning of these terms.
For example, suppose a non-compete agreement fails to show a legitimate business interest or does not specify a time for the duration of the contract. In that case, the court can declare it void and unenforceable.
Regarding non-compete agreements, parties are not entirely free to set their terms. This is important to understand because the party who drafts the contract and the parties who sign it must be aware that the document must meet specific requirements established by law in order for it to be enforceable.
If there is a breach of a non-compete agreement or if there is a question as to its enforceability, the party can pursue an action against the other party in court, which may include an injunction, payment of damages, and sometimes it results in the court deciding that the non-compete is not enforceable and void.
Non-compete agreements may be controversial but with the necessary knowledge, they can be valid and enforceable. In other words, these contracts must be drafted with special care.