Non-Compete Agreements – How a Lawyer Can Help You in Philadelphia
If you are interested in protecting your business from the possibility of an employee leaving you and going to work for a competitor, then a non-compete agreement may be the answer you need. By asking employees to sign one of these contracts you are providing yourself with a number of significant advantages.
Having a well-crafted non-compete agreement in place helps you protect trade secrets and other confidential competitive information, and also helps you hold on to customers who may have established close bonds with a departing employee.
Non-compete agreements can help prevent top salespeople from using their talents on behalf of a competitor, as well as from establishing a competing business for themselves. With the appropriate terminology, these agreements can even help to protect or recoup training costs.
The trouble with non-compete agreements is that the courts are not always receptive to the idea of a former employer restricting an employee from finding gainful employment, so it is important that the contract is carefully written so that its terms are reasonable and more likely to hold up in the face of litigation.
The law firm of Bochetto & Lentz, P.C. employs non-compete lawyers that have extensive experience in preparing non-compete agreements that will protect your interests. Call us today to set up a convenient appointment.
There are certain things that must be included in a non-compete agreement to ensure it will be effective. These include:
- Consideration – A non-compete agreement is a contract, and that means that something of value must be provided in consideration for the promise exacted. Though some courts might interpret this as the employment itself, others may require something more such as a signing bonus. This is particularly true if asking an existing employee to sign a contract after they have been employed for a period of time.
- Reasonableness – A non compete agreement has to contain terms that are considered reasonable. This means that it cannot be too restrictive in terms of the amount of time that it lasts or in the broadness of its geographic restrictions. The terms cannot lead to a sort of forced unemployment because the terms restrict the employee from using the professional skills that they have developed.
- Clarity – The agreement must provide clear definitions of its terms, including making clear what a competitor is, what the end date is of the contract and the period of prohibitions, and whether the terms apply when the employee is involuntarily terminated. The more restrictive and vague the terms of a non-compete agreement, the less likely it is that they will be upheld in court.
A non-compete agreement can provide you with valuable prohibitions against an employee taking trade secrets to a competitor or carrying top clients along with them, but it is of no value if it is not enforceable.
Having the assistance of a knowledgeable Philadelphia attorney from Bochetto & Lentz will give you the best possible protection.