Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before Signing a Non-Compete Agreement
A non-compete agreement is a contract in which at least one party agrees not to compete against the other for a pre-specified period of time. Many companies ask employees and contractors to sign non compete agreements. Assuming the contract is properly drafted and reasonably narrow, it can be enforced in Florida (Florida Statute § 542.335).
You should not enter a non-compete agreement lightly. Such an agreement could dramatically reduce the available employment/business opportunities in your market. Here, our West Palm Beach business litigation lawyers highlight four key questions that you should ask yourself before finalizing a non-compete agreement.
- Do I Understand the Full Scope of the Restrictions?
First and foremost, you need to be sure that you understand the full scope of the non-compete agreement. If you are not certain that you understand what you are giving up by signing, you should call a Florida attorney who has experience drafting and reviewing non-compete agreements. A lawyer will be able to help you make sense of the contract. Before you finalize the deal, please be sure that you are comfortable with the restrictions.
- Does My Non-Compete Agreement Have a Reasonably Defined Duration?
Non-compete agreements should not run forever. In fact, under Florida law, a non-compete contract that lacks a defined duration may not be enforceable at all. You should review exactly how long the non-compete is set to last. Whether a non-compete will last for five months beyond your contractual relationship or five years beyond your contractual relationship will have a huge impact on your future business/employment prospects.
- What Am I Getting in Exchange for Forgoing Future Opportunities?
When you sign a non-compete agreement, you are voluntarily agreeing to give up future opportunities. That is a real sacrifice. Make sure that you are receiving fair consideration in exchange for what you are giving up. A non-compete agreement is a deal. Both parties should give up something of value. The non-compete agreement, at least in its current form, may not be in your best interests.
- Can I Still Bargain for Better Terms?
Finally, it is important to remember that a non compete contract is a negotiated agreement . If you have not signed the agreement, the contract is not yet set in stone—it can still be modified. You may be able to bargain for better terms, including for a short duration, reduced restrictions, or increased compensation. An attorney can help you assess the agreement to ensure that it is reasonable and fair.
Contact Our West Palm Beach, FL Non-Compete Agreement Attorneys for Help
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida contract law attorneys have the skills and expertise to negotiate, draft, and review non-compete agreements. To get more information about non-compete agreements call us now for a confidential initial consultation, With offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, we represent employers, employees, and contractors throughout the wider region.