As a business owner, something you may be concerned about is the potential for an employee to take proprietary information and give it to a competitor. That’s why many business owners have noncompete agreements. Noncompete agreements are contracts that prohibit employees from engaging in any kind of business that is in conflict with their current employer’s, such as working with a competitor or setting up a competing business with the information they’ve obtained at their job.
While you can ask an employee to sign a noncompete agreement, the truth is that you can’t force them to do so. However, if you have an employee who refuses to sign a noncompete agreement, you may be able to terminate their employment or refuse to hire them.
Does a perfect noncompete agreement exist?
In a perfect world, a noncompete agreement would be airtight and prevent any kind of issues in the future. Unfortunately, people may find loopholes or try to work around the noncompete agreement. As a result, it’s always a good idea to have your noncompete agreement reviewed by your attorney before putting it into place. They’ll do their best to make sure it’s binding and protects your business’ interests.
If the employee wants to negotiate the noncompete agreement, you have the option of refusing. However, if you do choose to negotiate, this is another time to have your attorney on board, so they can guide you toward a new noncompete agreement that is both supportive of your own company’s interests and the preferences of the employee that you want to hire.
Our website has more information on noncompete agreements and how you can make the strongest agreement between yourself and your employees.