In Florida, noncompete agreements are valid if they are reasonable in time, area, and line of business. Back in the day, noncompete agreements were often found to be void as an improper restraint of trade. Nowadays, noncompete agreements are common but to be enforceable, they must: (1) be in writing; (2) signed by the parties; and (3) specify a reasonable time.
What do noncompete agreements typically look like?
Noncompete agreements are contractual agreements between an employer and employee wherein an employee promises not to compete with his/her employer’s business during employment and for a specified time after the termination of such employment.
They can also include provisions wherein the employee agrees not to work for the employer’s competitors or to solicit the employer’s customers for a specific period of time.
Noncompete agreements can also be used in contracts between a buyer and a seller in the purchase of an ongoing business. The buyer will request a noncompete agreement to prevent the seller from starting a competing business, immediately after the sale.
In order to meet Florida requirements, every noncompete agreement must be in writing and signed by the person against whom enforcement is sought.
The party seeking enforcement for the agreement (usually the employer) carries the initial burden to plead and prove that the noncompete provision or contract is reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate business interest. If this is established, the opposing party (usually the employee) must then demonstrate that the restriction is overbroad, overlong, or otherwise not reasonably necessary to protect the established legitimate business interest.
What’s a legitimate business interest?
Under Florida law, legitimate business interests include the following: (1) trade secrets; (2) valuable confidential business or professional information; (3) substantial relationships with specific prospective or existing customers, patients, or clients; (4) customer, patient, or client goodwill associated with an ongoing business or professional practice, a specific geographic location, or a specific marketing or trade area; and (5) extraordinary or specialized training. However, it is well known that the noncompete cannot be used as a tool simply to eliminate competition.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
Have more questions? Let us know by sending an email to: email@example.com and we will do our best to develop content to provide you with direction and insight!
For more information:
Check out and subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook
Visit our website
Shop our Legal Templates
No Attorney-Client Relationship or Legal Advice: Communication of information by, in, to or through this Website and your receipt or use of it: (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship; (2) is not intended as a solicitation; (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice; and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on you specific matter. The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon Web site communications or advertisements. Feel free to contact us if you need legal assistance.