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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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In Florida, is a non-compete agreement that an employer asks

Customer Question

In Florida, is a non-compete agreement that an employer asks an independent contractor to sign enforceable?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

Yes, they can be - if the employer is able to show a "legitimate business interest" in the non-compete and the non-compete is narrowly tailored to protect those interests (Florida Statute §542.335).

Commonly used terms are such that include "not to engage in competing business within 100 miles of any operation of other party, for a period of 2 years" (as this is usually deemed sufficiently limited in scope to allow the independent contractor to find alternative employment or to do so within a reasonable period).

This of course does not work for all business, and this is very fact specific, so you may need local counsel to review the specifics of your contract to provide you with a formal opinion as to the potential enforceability of your specific contract, but yes - they can be enforceable, and Florida has shown a tendency to do so rather readily.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Contract is restricting an employment that would directly or indirectly compete with business within a 10 mile radius, for two years AFTER contract is complete.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

If the contract is binding for longer than 2 years, there is a good chance that it will be deemed unenforceable as it is too restrictive.

However, you I recommend a "formal legal opinion" - something only a local attorney can provide - to advise you of the enforceability of your specific contract.

This article by the Florida Bar Association gives you a good overview of what the attorney is going to be looking at (what is too restrictive), but, each contract is going to be evaluated on its own merits.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Understood I will seek local legal advice. But you're saying if it is longer than two years it may be too restrictive; does the 1 year working, and 2 years non-compete count as 3? Or just the 2 years of non-compete?
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 11 months ago.

The non-compete is going to be measured as the time that you are actually restricted from your trade AFTER leaving employment.

It does not include the time that you work for the employer.