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Non-Compete: Scope and Geographic Restrictions
Typically, the obligation of employer and employee towards each other dissolves upon the termination of their relationship. However, there are certain cases wherein an obligation remains to exist even beyond. Particularly, when there is a non-compete agreement involved.
What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
Essentially, this is an official agreement wherein an employee is prohibited from engaging in business with a company that directly competes with their previous employer for a specific timeframe.
This is to ensure that the company’s trade secrets are kept protected, even if an employee who is knowledgeable on the same leaves the company in the future. Other restrictions or prohibitions on former employees may also include:
- Creating their own business offering the same products or services as the previous employer
- Recruiting colleagues from the previous company to join theirs instead
- Developing or providing similar products and services as the previous employers.
The stipulations of the non-compete agreement would have to be carefully and explicitly outlined, which is why it’s important to get a Florida non-compete agreement attorney involved at the earliest possible instance.
Are geographical limitations allowed in non-compete contracts?
Geographical limitations are allowed in non-compete contracts–but only for as long as they are reasonable. For example, if the employee plans to open a diner in the same area and feature the same signature dish as their former employers, then the restriction would make sense.
If the diner is going to be opened outside of the area where the former employer is located, however, then the restriction shouldn’t apply because they are not operating in the same market, anyway.
However, it must be noted that for a restriction to exist, it must first be clearly stipulated right from the start. A Tampa non-compete attorney from the Law Office of Robert Eckard can help your company prepare for and present this agreement to the employee before they even start on the job officially.
So, if you think that your business is vulnerable to this kind of disadvantage, then you can reach out to a Florida non-compete attorney to help you set up an ironclad non-compete agreement. If a former employee violates the agreement, then consult with a Tampa business litigation attorney as soon as possible.