A solid non-compete agreement in Florida protects your business from competing with current and former employees you have hired and trained. The legal document prevents employees from using your knowledge against you by barring them from:
- Sharing private information about your business
- Working with your competitors
- Soliciting your vendors, employees, and customers
But what happens when an employee breaks that legal contract—and how much does it cost to defend? The average for many non-compete agreements is $10,000 or less, assuming that you are seeking an injunction. But the costs can quickly rise depending on your situation. Let’s examine the factors that will affect your expenses.
How to Create a Solid Non-Compete Agreement in Florida
If an employee violates your agreement, you have a right to defend yourself, assuming that the document is reasonable and lawful. To ensure that the document is reasonable, you should have an experienced business attorney drafting this contract for you. They will ensure that your agreement meets the following conditions:
You are Protecting Legitimate Business Interests
Here is the list of legitimate business interests you can reasonably protect:
- Highly valuable confidential business information.
- Trade secrets.
- Substantial customer, patient, and client relationships (both current and prospective).
- Extraordinary or specialized training.
Additionally, the state of Florida may grant you other business interests that are not explicitly listed here, such as referral sources.
You are Enforcing Reasonable Time Limits
Florida law states that restricting competition for six months or less is reasonable. But restricting competition for two years or more is unreasonable. If your time limit falls between six months to two years, then a court will need to decide how reasonable it is based on your circumstances.
You are Creating Customized Agreements for Your Employees
It is not in your best interest to create one cookie-cutter agreement for each of your employees. As they have different roles in your company, you need to tailor each non-compete to the specifics of their responsibilities. Not all of your hires will have exposure to valuable business information either—so you should limit your non-competes to employees who will.
Your Contract is in Writing
To enforce a legal agreement, you must have it in writing. Furthermore, your employees need to have signed it before you can defend it.
How Much Does it Cost to Defend Your Agreement?
To defend a non-compete agreement in Florida can cost $10,000 or less—but in reality, the cost depends on a number of factors. If your defendant takes an aggressive litigation approach, then expenses can quickly reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Time is yet another expense to take into account—court cases can take years to resolve.
How Do I Best Protect My Business?
However, the most valuable way to protect your business is to be proactive. Providing a legitimate non-compete agreement that ticks all the boxes for enforceability in Florida will go a long way in preventing extensive trials and costs.
To draft non-compete agreements that meet your business needs, call us at 305-735-6565.