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In Florida, Is a Non-Compete Agreement Enforceable?

In the competitive world of business, companies may turn to a variety of methods to obtain an advantage over competitors, including preventing their employees from leaving and going to work for those competitors. This is the primary purpose of a non-compete agreement.  

By restricting the employment opportunities of employees who have specialized skills, knowledge, or trade secrets, employers make it difficult for their competitors to benefit from these employees’ services. But are these agreements enforceable in Florida? 

Florida Courts Generally Enforce Non-Compete Agreements

As a general rule, Florida courts will enforce non-compete agreements that employers have their employees sign as a condition of employment. This is true even when the only alternative to signing the agreement is to decline employment.

However, the courts will not enforce non-compete agreements that are unreasonable in their terms or execution.

When a Non-Compete Agreement Cannot Be Enforced

For example, a non-compete cannot be overly restrictive to the point that you have difficulty making a living. Suppose that you are an engineer with specialized knowledge. Your employer’s non-compete agreement cannot demand that you don’t work anywhere in the United States or prohibit you from taking a similar job for decades.

Courts will also refuse to enforce non-compete agreements where you are not given adequate time to review the agreement or seek legal counsel before signing. An employer who forces their employees to sign such an agreement on the spot will likely find courts reluctant to uphold such an agreement.

A Tampa Business Litigation Attorney Can Help

Whether you need a trained legal eye to review a non-compete agreement for your business or are attempting to avoid enforcement of one you have already signed, the seasoned team at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell can help. Contact us at 813-360-1529 to speak to a skilled Tampa business litigation lawyer today.

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