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Business contracts: understanding non-compete agreements

Certain types of legal agreements allow a business to protect its competitive advantage and proprietary information. Through non-compete agreements or including certain terms in business contracts, an Oregon company is able to keep closely held information safe, even if an employee leaves to work for another company. Some businesses require employees to sign these agreements as a condition of their employment.

Non-compete agreements can differ from company to company, depending on the type of business, the role of the employee and the competition. The intent of these agreements is to give employers control over the actions of an employee in the future, typically preventing the employee from working for the competition. There may be terms regarding how long these restrictions will last and even a geographical range for where a former employee may or may not work.

These agreements are commonly used in the technology sector. These agreements allow companies to protect processes, procedures, client lists and other things that directly impact their competitive advantage and provide value to the company. Non-competes may require an employee promise not to work for the competition for a certain amount of time or divulge trade secrets, either while employed with the company or after leaving.

When drafting business contracts of any kind or reviewing an employment contract, it is helpful to work with an experienced Oregon attorney. Before signing, it is essential to carefully review terms, as they can impact an employee and business for years to come. Non-compete agreements, when implemented correctly, can allow a business to protect their interests and employees to understand expectations.

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