How would you feel when you realize that your competitor has hired your former best employee or the best employee has launched a competitive business in the same area as you? Naturally, no business owner would wish to see their ideas being used against them in the future to outdo them. However, the likelihood of that happening remains high.
One of the factors that can lead to that is when you hire employees, and you don’t make them sign the non-compete agreement. It’s the main reason they are likely to start their own business competing with yours or get hired by your competitor after their employment contract expiry.
Following is a brief on key aspects you need to consider when hiring a Non compete attorney and other essential factors to consider as a business owner and employer. If you are an employee, you will also know how the non compete clause is critical to businesses and organizations.
What Is A Non-Compete Attorney?
You may want protection against your business interest breaches by your competitors. After an in-depth review, you may decide to sign a non compete agreement between you and the employee. However, the non compete clause may have terms that you may both fail to understand well. Therefore, you will need someone who witnesses as you sign the clause and interprets the terms to ensure you don’t sign what you don’t understand.
The professional who will guide you in the signing process is a non-compete attorney. They have a better understanding of how such clauses apply to your jurisdiction. Remember that agreements are covenants, which implies that they shouldn’t be broken whatsoever by any of the parties allied to them. Similarly, the non-compete agreement, once signed, should not be broken.
What Does A Non Compete Clause Contain?
Some people may think the non-compete clause contains similar provisions to those of other agreements they have ever signed. However, this is not the case. Read through for a better idea of what the clause provides;
- The Why
In any non compete clause, there must be a reason for the agreement. This guides the parties allied to it into knowing why they are signing the agreement. It also makes them understand how it might be of impact to them in the future.
- Clear Dates and Timelines
There must be a specified date on which the agreement should take effect to enforce the non-compete agreement. The period provided should also be reasonable.
- Business Location
Mostly non-compete applies only to specific areas or states. It should be specified in the clause so that you both know where the agreement is effective and where it is not.
- A Reward
Agreeing not to compete with your former employer is not easy. It deserves a reward. That’s why compensation to be given must be in the clause.
When getting into an agreement, you should all understand the consequences should you breach the contract. Mainly, penalties will make you abide by the agreement.
These are some of the clauses that are in the non-component agreement. You need to understand them before hiring a non-compete attorney.
Risks Associated with Hiring a Non Compete Employee
Even though making a move to hire a non-compete employee sounds nice, some risks are involved. It’s worth considering such risks before hiring one. Below are some of them;
- The legal costs: Assuming the former employer sues you for hiring a non-compete employee. You will have to incur all the case fee.
- Interference: If you hire an employee who was a party to a non-compete in the previous contract, the former employer may decide to interrupt you. That may prevent you from continuing with the normal operations.
- Quick Injunction Hearing: When the former employer goes to court and sues you, they may request an employee an order prohibiting them from performing any tasks in your company until the case is over.
In the process, the court may compel you to look for witnesses and gather other supportive documents to defend yourself. You will only have a shorter period to do that.
How To Avoid The Risks That Arise Because Of Hiring A Non Compete Employee
First, assess whether the employee terminated their contract or not before joining your company. If you find out that they did not, you shouldn’t hire them.
You can also find out if there can be a possible waiver of the former employer’s previous restrictions. That will prevent you from the above risks should you hire the employee.
Additionally, you can have an agreement form where the employee can sign that they have not transferred any knowledge or strategies from their former employer to your business.
This is how you can overcome the risks that hiring an employee who is a party to compete for an agreement that may subject you to.
Tips on How to Select the Right Non Compete Lawyer
Below are some of the factors you can consider when you need an excellent non-compete lawyer.
- Consider Competency Level
When looking for a good St Pete non compete lawyer, consider your past work history. Find out if they have handled issues relating to non compete. Be sure that your case will succeed, or any other matter you engage a non-compete attorney. However, that’s only possible only if you choose the one with the relevant experience.
- Don’t Go Far; There is One in Your Locality
Do you know that choosing a lawyer from a different state may be costly? The attorney may also not handle the matter as expected because state laws vary. Therefore, don’t think of a lawyer in a different state or an international one. Choosing a St Pete non compete lawyer will help you immensely. You only need to ensure that they understand the basics of non-compete laws.
Ask for references to the previous clients. Ensure that they don’t refer you to biased clients. That means you have to do a background check on the clients before proceeding to make inquiries from them.
- Consider the Costs
Bear in mind that quality comes with a price. To have the best attorney you are looking for, you must have a reasonable budget. You also need to know the billing methods of most of the law firms. Some of them prefer hourly billing, while others prefer other billing methods. This will give you an idea of how much you need to have before hiring one of the attorneys.
However, the costs will also be dependent on the nature of the work to be done. If the matter involves a lot of information gathering and other related tasks, it may cost higher than you think. Additionally, you should find out whether you should pay any hidden fees. Non compete attorneys are increasing following their high demand by business owners and corporates. Consider hiring one to help you with your legal matters.