How Commercial Lawyers Can Protect Your Business with Non-Compete Agreements
Hiring competent employees to help achieve your business goals and objectives is always good. Loyal employees usually form a great team that understands the ins and outs of the business and even runs it perfectly without much direction from the management.
Of course, every business owner’s goal is to build a team of employees that can work like they own the business. However they also need commercial lawyers because there is another side to it. Your employee might not desire to stay with your company throughout their active years of service. They might choose their relationship with you for a few reasons like demand for higher wages, relocation and more.
When an employee who has known every secret about your business leaves, there’s a tendency that they would go ahead to establish a competing business. Worse, they may work for your competitor if the latter promises many benefits. And that is already bad news for your business. Visit https://www.ags.gov.au to get about skilled commercial lawyers.
From experience, every competing business aims to overshadow its competitors and dominate the market. Not only that, but they would also do everything they can to win over your clients, which may cause your profit margin to drop drastically. And that hurts.
But, the sweet side of the coin is that it is preventable. Yes. There is a way commercial lawyers can help protect your business with non-compete clauses and agreements. This legal document will prevent your employees from harming you, having amassed much knowledge of your business. Learn more about Australian government solicitor.
In recent times, commercial lawyers have been applying for non-compete agreements. As a result, courts are taking more time to scrutinize non-compete clauses and contracts to ensure no hidden threats. Suppose you want your employees or partners to sign a non-compete agreement. In that case, it is advisable that you hire a competent commercial lawyer to help you examine the language and rewrite it (if necessary) to enforce it more.
What Are Non-Compete Clauses And Agreements?
A non-compete clause is found in a contract or can be an entire non-compete agreement that prevents an individual or a corporation from engaging in business that can be competing with your company in specific locations for a stipulated period. The idea is to keep your employees away from your competitors, who can use them to gain more access to your clients and harm your business in the long run.
With a non-compete, commercial lawyers can help restrain your former employees or partners from using your trade secrets learned while working with you to establish a similar business in the future. When you finally get your employees to sign this legal document, you can relax and do your business with peace of mind. It will also make sure that your intellectual property is secured.
Note that it is the sole responsibility of your commercial lawyer to write a non-compete for your business. Depending on his expertise, the commercial lawyer will guide you on how to fulfil your end of the agreement.
What Are the General Provisions in a Typical Non-Compete Agreement?
It is essential that you have a complete understanding of non-compete content. Although, your commercial lawyer will read everything to you before inviting other partners to sign. Yet, it is better to know what the document contains to approach your commercial lawyer with prior knowledge.
For clarity, a typical non-compete contains the following:
- Effective period
A meaningful non-compete should clearly state the period the entire agreement will be enforceable. Before setting the effective date, your commercial lawyer would have taken time to discuss it with you to ensure you agree with it. The restriction period from working for a competitor or as a competitor must be reasonable. Your lawyer guides you according to your business cycle and industry.
- Reason for non-compete
Suppose you are going to permit your employee or partner to go into the same business as yours. In that case, you must provide tangible reasons for the court to agree to the prohibitions. The court demands that you give specific reasons that brought about the restrictions. If your reasons are not tenable in court, you may not have a non-compete agreement in the long run. That is one of the reasons you need a commercial lawyer to help you handle the process. It’s better to pay for the expertise and smile at the end of the day.
- Geographical Area
Come to think of it; it is not reasonable to restrict your former employee from setting up a business with the knowledge he has gained from you in a distant region. At best, you can only restrict the former staff from establishing a business in your dominant areas where you already have loyal clients. So, a non-compete can only be enforceable in a particular region. It could be a city, state, or even country. Note that the specific area you provide must market.
Of course, not all non-compete contains non-solicitation clauses. But, it is advisable to protect your employees or clients from being poached. You may discuss with your commercial lawyer whether the situation on the ground requires adding non-solicitation to your agreement. The professional will guide you appropriately in that regard.
The law doesn’t support that you restrict an individual from establishing a business in their preferred location without providing compensation. That would mean something else in the face of the law. So, when writing your non-compete clauses, ensure you are specific about what you want to offer the restricted individual for not competing with your business. You may provide secured employment benefits or do it in cash if it’s an employee. Whatever it may be, it must be specific. Your commercial lawyer will help you figure out how to offer compensation without harming your pocket.
There should be specific penalties if the other party breaches the non-compete agreement. Your commercial knows what to do in that aspect, so you only need to allow lawyers to put their experience on the line.
Non-compete clauses and agreements can protect your business from being imitated by preventing any individual from establishing a competing company or work takes your business secrets to work with your competitors. However, it cannot prohibit your competitor for an extended period. The legal document must protect your business and relieve the signee of any unnecessary burden. If you want a non-compete agreement, you need to hire an experienced commercial lawyer.