Employee Non-Compete Agreement (FL)
Employee Non-Compete Agreement (FL) Preparation Form – We recommend that you gather the information in this form prior to accessing the online questionnaire. Doing so will help you efficiently create your custom Florida Employee Non-Compete Agreement.
This Florida Employee Non-Compete Agreement (also known as a non-compete agreement or non-compete) is intended for use by a company or other employer to limit certain competitive activities of an employee when the employment relationship ends. Employees or businesses located in Florida should use this agreement because this agreement is based on Florida law.
Many Florida courts generally disfavor non-competes because they act as restrictive covenants that might limit an individual’s ability to earn a living. Specifically, Florida law prohibits contracts that are a restraint on trade. However, Florida’s non-compete statute does permit employers to use non-compete agreements that are both:
- Reasonable in length and geographic scope.
- Necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interest.
Thus, employers seeking to bind employees to non-competes must consider the possible legal challenges to enforcement in drafting the agreements. The employer should carefully tailor a non-compete to account for the various issues that may affect enforceability, such as whether the non-compete:
- Is in writing and signed by the person against whom enforcement is sought.
- Is supported by adequate consideration.
- Identifies a legitimate business interest worthy of protection.
- Meets the standards for reasonableness under Florida law, including that it:
- is of a reasonable duration;
- defines prohibited competitive activity to include only activity necessary to protect the legitimate business interests identified; and
- places a reasonable limitation on the agreement’s geographic scope or business parameters.
- Includes provisions that supplement the restrictions on unfair or unlawful competition with additional limitations restricting:
- the solicitation of the employer’s employees, customers, or clients; or
- the use or disclosure of confidential information.
Special Rules for Attorneys and Medical Practitioners
Attorneys. In Florida, a lawyer may not offer or make an agreement that restricts a lawyer’s right to practice:
- After termination of the relationship, except an agreement concerning benefits on retirement.
- As part of the settlement of a client’s controversy.
In addition, mediators in Florida cannot restrict or limit another mediator’s practice following termination of a relationship, except as part of an agreement conferring benefits on retirement.
Medical Practitioners. Florida courts have held that a business’s legitimate interest in enforcing a non-compete only applies to specific prospective or existing patients with whom the physician had a substantial relationship.
Limitations of Non-Competes
Finally, employers should understand what non-competes can and cannot accomplish. For example, non-competes can help protect against unfair or unlawful competition by former employees. However, non-competes cannot eliminate all forms of competitive activity.
Again, Florida law generally disfavors non-competes because they act as restrictive covenants that might limit an individual’s ability to earn a living. Therefore, employers should take additional precautions to protect their valuable resources. For example, confidentiality and proprietary rights agreements provide additional protection for employers, particularly if a court evaluating a non-compete declines to enforce it.
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