Whatever industry your business belongs to, the competition is likely fierce. You competitors seek advantage in any way possible, and one of the most effective ways your competition learns your company’s game plan is to hire the people you’ve trained and trusted with your playbook.
A non-compete clause protects your business from the poaching of your employees by your competitors and the possibility of an employee starting a rival company with the knowledge and skills you’ve given them. Non-compete agreements are an often overlooked way to insulate your company from this hiring practice.
At Lusk Law, LLC, we represent businesses to make sure their interests are being protected. If you want to draft a non-compete clause from scratch or revisit your existing non-compete policy, our team will make sure that your contracts are compliant with the law and working in the interest of your business.
What is a Non-Compete Agreement?
A non-compete agreement is part of an employee contract that restricts an employee from competing with the employer during or after employment. A non-compete clause can eliminate the possibility of your employees starting a rival business or joining another company and sharing valuable information about your company or your company’s approach to doing business.
These clauses designate a period in which the employee cannot enter into competition with the employer. A non-compete agreement must be drafted with care. If an agreement is unreasonable, it could be disputed later should your employee want to break the terms of the clause.
It’s important to balance any non-compete agreements between the interests of your business and a reasonable demand of an employee. An overly restrictive contract or an agreement with vague terms runs the risk of being deemed invalid in court.
At Lusk Law, LLC, we know how important it is for your business to have employee contracts that can hold up to the scrutiny of the law and still effectively protect your company. If you are considering non-compete agreements or want to revisit the language you’re currently using in employee contracts, we encourage you to contact us today to learn how we can help you.
What Non-Compete Clauses Include
A non-compete agreement will vary, depending on the needs of your business and the standards of your industry.
However, most non-compete clauses share a few common stipulations, including…
- A designated period in which an employee cannot enter into competition with your company
- A justification of the need for such an agreement
- What your company is offering the employee for entering into a non-compete clause
- The specific industries or businesses which might be considered competition to your business
- Any restricted geographical locations covered in the agreement.
These terms may vary, depending on the nature of your business and the role of the employee who will enter into the agreement. In general, these agreements are most effective when the terms are specific, clear and reasonable.
Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in Court
If there are no consequences for breaking an agreement, it does your business no good. If you have an employee that has breached the agreement, we can help you enforce the terms of your contract.
As long as your existing agreement is reasonable, it will be enforced by the courts. In many cases, the prospect of legal action is adequate to deter an employee from breaching their contract. However, if a warning isn’t enough to dissuade an employee, the dispute can be taken to court to ensure your former employee isn’t in competition with your company.
By enforcing your non-compete agreement, you are not only making sure that your business is protected, you are taking a preventative measure to ensure that other employees don’t follow the non-compliant employee’s lead.
Lusk Law, LLC, Helps Maryland Business Owners
Running a business is no small task. One single small business owner is often a general manager, director of marketing, design expert, customer relations expert, head of human resources, bookkeeper, salesperson, therapist and friend. You’re called upon to do almost everything and to do it proficiently.
The one hat you shouldn’t try to wear is that of a lawyer. At Lusk Law, LLC, we understand the challenges facing small business owners, which is why we make sure their legal concerns are met with precision and an attention to detail. We offer many services to Maryland businesses, including drafting and revising employee contracts and non-compete agreements.
If you want to revisit your non-compete agreement or draft a new employee contract, contact Lusk Law, LLC, to learn more about our services. We know that the most effective agreements are fair, reasonable and enforceable. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to get started.
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