Is my business Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable?
Non-compete agreements in Florida depend on a variety of circumstances, but may be enforced by the employer when the courts view the terms as reasonable with regard to time, geographical area, and legitimate business interest of the employer as defined by Florida statute.
According to Florida Statute 542.335, no less than five legitimate business interests exist that may be protected by use of a non-compete agreement.
Section 542.335(1)(b), Florida Statutes. They are:
- Trade secrets, as defined in s. 688.002(4).
- Valuable confidential business or professional information that otherwise does not qualify as trade secrets.
- Substantial relationships with specific prospective or existing customers, patients, or clients.
- Customer, patient, or client goodwill associated with:
- An ongoing business or professional practice, by way of trade name, trademark, service mark, or trade dress;
- A specific geographic location; or
- A specific marketing or trade area;
- Extraordinary or specialized training.
The person seeking to enforce an agreement not to compete must prove that the restraint specified in the agreement is reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate business interest or interests used to justify the restriction. Section 542.335(1)(c), Florida Statutes. In the event that the person opposing the enforcement of an agreement not to compete demonstrates that the restraint is over-broad, overlong, or otherwise not reasonably necessary to protect the established legitimate business interest or interests of the person seeking to enforce an agreement not to compete, then the judge is required to modify the restraint and grant only the relief reasonably necessary to protect such interest or interests. Section 542.335(1)(c), Florida Statutes.
If you have questions about your non-compete agreement or your team is looking to create a non-compete agreement to help avoid the various business disputes that can arise, please give us a call: 727-939-8200.