Florida Non-Compete Agreement Attorney
Helping Florida Employees With Non-Compete Agreements
Employee non-compete agreements are a complex area of Florida law that can have serious implications for employees. Hiring an experienced employment law attorney is essential to ensure the best outcome when negotiating, or contesting, such agreements.
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, we understand the nuances and complexities of Florida non-compete agreements and are here to help employees understand their rights and obligations. With over a decade of experience, Benjamin Yormak is one of the few board-certified employment law experts in Florida and can provide sound legal advice and representation.
If you are an employee who has been asked to sign a non-compete agreement, or if you are already subject to one, contact us for a free consultation. We will work hard to ensure that your rights and interests are protected and secured.
What Is A Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement is a contract that restricts an employee’s ability to work for a competitor or start their own business in the same industry. Such agreements typically last for a period of time and may include restrictions on where the employee can work, what type of job they can take, and even how much money they can make. The enforceability of non-compete agreements is dependent on several factors, so it is important to have experienced legal counsel review any such agreement before signing.
Requirements For An Enforceable Non-Compete Agreement in Florida
Under Florida law, these agreements are generally enforceable only if they protect a “legitimate business interest” of the employer and they have “reasonable” geographic boundaries and time limits. If the court finds that the non-compete agreement does not adhere to these guidelines, it has the power to modify unreasonable or broad restrictions.
When considering the enforcement of a non-compete agreement, the court will typically seek to answer the following questions:
- Does the employer have a legitimate business interest to protect?
- Is that business interest legally defined (by Florida statute)?
- Did the employee use the knowledge or information they acquired from their employer (a list of customers and confidential or proprietary information) to unfairly compete against their former employer?
- Are the terms of the non-compete agreement reasonable?
Legitimate Business Interest
To enforce a non-compete, the court will first determine whether the employer has a legitimate business interest to protect. Under Florida Statutes, a legitimate business interest includes, but is not limited to:
- Trade secrets
- Valuable confidential or professional information
- Relationships with specific existing or prospective customers, patients, or clients
- Goodwill associated with an employer’s name, brand, reputation, geographic location, or trade area.
- Extraordinary or specialized training.
If an employer fails to prove one of these interests, then the non-compete agreement may not be enforceable.
Reasonable Time & Geographic Limits
When determining whether a non-compete agreement is enforceable, the court will also review whether the time and geographic limits are “reasonable.” Generally, a non-compete agreement will be deemed reasonable if it includes a period of no more than two years and prohibits competing within a certain radius of the employer’s primary place of business.
Things to Consider Before Signing a Non-Compete Agreement
It’s important for employees to be aware of their rights and obligations when signing a non-compete agreement. Before signing any such contract, we recommend that you:
- Review the terms thoroughly – make sure to understand what type of work activities are restricted by the agreement and if there are any exclusions from the agreement’s scope.
- Consult a qualified attorney – because the enforceability of non-compete agreements can vary, it is important to have experienced legal counsel review any such agreement before signing.
- Negotiate specific terms – if you are asked to sign a non-compete agreement, it may be a good idea to try negotiating certain provisions that may be too restrictive or difficult to comply with.
- Consider the impact of the agreement – think about how this agreement may affect your current and future opportunities within your industry.
When faced with a non-compete agreement, it is important to understand the enforceability and implications of such an agreement in order to secure the best possible outcome for yourself. If you have any questions about non-compete agreements, contact Yormak Employment & Disability Law for a confidential consultation.
What To Do If You’ve Already Signed A Non-Compete Agreement
Just because non-competes are enforced in Florida, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options. A qualified attorney may be able to help you modify an existing non-compete agreement or get out of it all together. Additionally, an experienced lawyer can provide advice on how to comply with your non-compete agreement without sacrificing too much of your career opportunities in the future.
Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, we understand the importance of protecting your career and livelihood. We are dedicated to helping employees navigate the complexities of Florida non-compete agreement laws and securing the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.