Many businesses make non-competition agreements a standard part of their employment agreements. A knowledgeable Fairfax business lawyer can assist with the drafting and interpretation of these agreements and advise you about potential pitfalls.
Standard Uses and Elements of a Non-Compete Clause
Non-compete clauses may be a standard part of a larger employment agreement or can be drafted separately. These clauses can be an invaluable protection against unfair competition. Many businesses have sensitive intellectual property information and trade secrets that could severely undermine their bottom line if they aren’t protected. As your Fairfax business lawyer can explain, most clauses require employees to sign the agreement prohibiting them from soliciting company clients or customers should they leave the company and go to work for a competitor or in a similar business.
Non-compete clauses are, of course, subject to challenge by the courts. In most cases, they are enforceable if the terms are reasonable. Generally, courts look at whether the restrictions are for a limited duration and not overly broad in terms of their geographic scope. Conversely, the longer the duration of the restriction, the less likely the court will enforce it. There is no hard and fast rule as to how long is considered reasonable and courts will look at this on a case by case basis. Your attorney may have expertise in the field and can give you a realistic assessment of what is standard for your business. Additionally, courts are reluctant to enforce non-compete clauses that restrict the employee from working anywhere in that business would likely be considered too broad.
Representing Our Business Clients
Our attorneys can counsel you on a wide range of business needs from contract drafting and negotiations to representation in the event you have a dispute. The sooner you seek qualified legal counsel, the more options you may have for resolving or anticipating disputes before they arise.
To discuss your business needs with an experienced Fairfax business attorney, contact the offices of Schleifman Law, PLC. To make an appointment, call 703-528-1021.