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How Can Your Business Benefit From A Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, Or Non-Disclosure Agreement?

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All businesses have a “secret sauce” that allows them to be competitive in the market. This could be an actual product like the secret 23 spices making up the classic flavoring for KFC, or something more conventional such as a small business’s pricing strategies or other proprietary data or trade secrets. To remain competitive in the market, businesses need to ensure that their innerworkings and proprietary information does not fall into the hands of their competitors, or otherwise be made public. So what steps can a company take to protect itself? The good news is various legal resources are available. Here we will briefly discuss three different documents that can be enacted to protect your business.

It should be noted upfront that none of the agreements discussed below can actually, physically restrain someone from disclosing a trade secret. However, if properly executed, enacting these legal documents protects your company by creating significant legal consequences that would deter anyone from breaking the agreement.

Non Disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract that identifies and protects identified proprietary information and trade secrets from release before they are disclosed to another party. These agreements are typically confidential and, so long as the terms are reasonable, they can define the penalties for violating the agreement.

Non solicitation Agreement

A non-solicitation agreement limits, or strips entirely, the ability of a party to depart from the business and poach the employees and/or clients of the other party. These agreements typically spell out the time period covered by the agreement and further detail what actions are impermissible.

Non-compete Agreement

A non-compete agreement is a restraint on trade/commerce. Generally speaking, it is a legal contract between two parties in which one party agrees to not engage in competing business activities against the other party for a set period of time.

Non-compete agreements are only legal in Florida if they are properly limited. If your company has a legitimate interest that justifies using a non-compete, the agreement must only limit the other party for a reasonable space of time, place, and scope.

Contact Suncoast Civil Law

Determining which of the above options, or what combination of the above, best serves your company’s interests can be a complex decision. It is important that you have knowledgeable and experienced Attorneys by your side as you make these decisions and draft these documents. Each of these agreements can be an invaluable resource for a company seeking to protect its interests. However, the Florida Courts place certain limitations on what these agreements may contain/how another person or party can be limited. It is imperative to have the right legal counsel involved in drafting these agreements so you can ensure that your agreement will be upheld in court if the need arises,  and so you know, before any infraction ever occurs, how an infraction of the agreement would play out. Consult with one of the skilled Sarasota business litigation lawyers at Suncoast Civil Law today to understand the options available to you and receive knowledgeable guidance that will help you protect your business and avoid potentially costly future disputes.

Sources:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0500-0599/0542/Sections/0542.335.html

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0200-0299/0288/Sections/0288.075.html

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