Non-compete agreements have become increasingly common in Bloomington. Employers often expect employees to agree to non-compete terms, and those selling a business or completing other transactions frequently find that a non-compete clause is part of the deal.
A non-compete agreement can affect your livelihood for years to come, so it is essential to understand the terms and future implications before signing. A Minnesota non-compete agreements lawyer could explain the ramifications of a clause and may be able to negotiate more favorable terms. If you have already signed a non-compete agreement, a contract negotiations and drafting attorney could provide advice regarding compliance and defend you against any charges of a violation.
Courts can be picky about enforcing non-compete agreements. Therefore, if you are seeking to hold others to an agreement’s terms, it is wise to have a non-compete agreements lawyer draft an agreement custom designed to fulfill your goals and remain enforceable under the law.
Understanding Non-Compete Agreements
Non-compete agreements may be referred to by other terms, such as a covenant not to compete or non-solicitation agreement. Broadly speaking, it is a contract designed to prevent an employee or another party from taking certain actions in competition with a former employer or the buyer of a business.
A knowledgeable Minnesota non-compete agreements lawyer could determine whether an agreement fulfills the requirements to make it enforceable under state law. If there is an issue, courts might decide the agreement was not properly executed, that terms are excessive, or that the damages provided are inappropriate under the circumstances.
Requirements for a Valid Contract in Bloomington
Because non-compete agreements can restrict fair competition, the law often takes a suspicious approach to these agreements. For a court to enforce a non-compete agreement, the contract must:
- Protect a legitimate business interest
- Be reasonable in scope
- Be reasonable in duration
- Be reasonable in geographic territory
- Be supported by consideration
Courts examine each non-compete agreement in light of the specific situation, so what is reasonable for one employee might be unacceptable in other circumstances. Additionally, it is important to note that courts tend to favor a narrow construction of the terms.
The law requires valid consideration in order for a non-compete contract to be enforceable, so a Bloomsbury non-compete agreements lawyer should review the circumstances to make sure the agreement is fair. If an agreement is included as part of an employment contract as a condition of employment, then the value the employee receives as consideration is the employment itself. However, if an employer presents a non-compete agreement after an employee starts work, then the continuation of employment is not enough consideration to make an agreement valid.
Instead, the employer must offer other valuable consideration that provides a meaningful benefit to the employee. Consideration could be a monetary payment or another benefit such as access to trade secrets or a guarantee of protection against termination without cause.
Contact a Minnesota Non-Compete Agreements Attorney
Regardless of whether you are subject to a non-compete agreement or seek to hold others to the terms of a non-compete clause, it is important to take care to protect your interests. Enforcement actions can be costly to bring as well as to defend, so it is wise to analyze the agreement at issue and the courts’ likely reaction to that document.
A Bloomington non-compete agreements lawyer could assist with any part of the process, from drafting an agreement to negotiating amendments to court enforcement actions and defense. A knowledgeable legal advocate may be able to negotiate a solution that satisfies the needs of all parties and saves considerable time and money in the long run. Call today to learn more.