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Why might you want to have employees sign a noncompete?

Competition is a normal part of the trade for your business and other Florida companies. When you are thinking about including a noncompete clause in your potential employees’ contracts, it is not to limit their ability to work in the future. The purpose of a noncompete is mainly to protect your company’s secrets and business operations, as well as to keep an oversaturation of competition from weakening your brand.

Many employees, and some employers, believe noncompete clauses are unfair or unnecessary. If you own a restaurant and have your servers sign a contract prohibiting them from serving at other restaurants for several years after leaving your company, this might be the case. Your former employees could have reason to challenge the clause, saying it prevents them from getting a job. However, you might be able to include such a clause among your cooks, if you have a secret recipe they make from scratch and you do not want it replicated anywhere else. For example, your noncompete clause could state that former cooks will not open a competing restaurant within 10 miles of yours for five years after working for you.

According to The Balance, noncompete clauses should be fair to both employer and employee and, like the above example, prevent former workers from copying what makes your business unique and draw customers away from you. The terms of this contract should not be permanent – it would not be possible to enforce a noncompete that forbids your former workers from ever opening a restaurant. Instead, a fair noncompete clause should be in effect for three to five years and be limited to a reasonable geographical area. A fair noncompete clause also reduces the chances of a former employee taking legal action against you.

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