Our world is changing rapidly, and with a global economy, businesses face new challenges in retaining employees and protecting trade secrets, processes, techniques, ideas, and other proprietary or sensitive information. This is especially true for small businesses, which need stable conditions to nurture growth. Unfortunately, the way the legal system works can be slow to catch up. As technological advances and ways of doing business change, how businesses use non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements must change as well.
At HCFA, our Troy, Michigan business law attorneys keep abreast of legal developments to come up with smart, creative solutions to protecting reasonable competitive business interests. Too many people do not consult an experienced attorney, thinking they can put these contracts together themselves, but mistakes are far too easy to make and the consequences can be costly.
Non-compete agreements help employers by restricting former employees for a limited period of time from starting up competing businesses or going to work for competing companies. Courts may not enforce non-compete agreements that are far too heavy-handed, but non-compete agreements that are too permissive fail to effectively protect the employer.
A properly drafted non-compete agreement must be reasonable. A reasonable non-compete agreement will be reasonably limited in duration, be reasonably limited in geographical location, and apply to a limited field of competition. Whether a non-compete is reasonable or not will depend on the facts of each situation. For instance, the global nature of the Internet makes defining reasonable geographic area of impact harder. Before you could limit the non-compete to a 10-mile radius, which might have been viewed by courts to be reasonable. Now, with the Internet changing geographic impact to a global scale, defining effective geographical limits that courts will uphold is more challenging; the non-compete agreement needs to be more carefully and creatively drafted.
You need an experienced attorney who will work with you to prepare a non-compete that best meets the needs of your business. Your business is unique, so we take the time to get to know you and your organization first. Our business attorneys give you accessible, responsive, and thorough legal representation, but we offer these services with cost efficiency in mind. Our firm has been helping clients for over 30 years, so you know you can count on experienced professionals to help you navigate your business.
Non-solicitation agreements may often be part of other agreements like employment contracts or non-compete agreements. Non-solicitations restrict an employee’s ability to try to compel other employees or customers to leave with them. They also restrict an employee from soliciting other employees for their own benefit or the benefit of competitors.
A properly drafted non-solicitation agreement protects an employer’s business by helping to retain skilled employees and protect valuable customer lists. However, the non-solicitation agreement must meet certain requirements in order to be enforceable. It must be backed by a legitimate business reason and a customer list must be valuable enough to protect. Legitimate business reasons include wanting to retain valuable employees and protecting customer lists or valuable trade secrets. Furthermore, to protect a customer list, the company must have expended time, energy, and money on compiling the customer list, which could not have been easily procured via public means.
HCFA's Michigan business attorneys understand that skilled, diligent, and bright employees are the backbone of any great business. We also know that you work hard to build your customer database, and keeping your customers coming to you is of great value. Our attorneys focus on the nature of your business, the kinds of employees you have, and types of customers you attract to advise you and draft contracts that effectively work for you.
A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) protects a wide range of trade secrets. For example, what if your company has a special way of roasting coffee beans or your company has developed an improved manufacturing process and design for the next smartphone? A non-disclosure agreement can prevent these secrets from leaving your company by creating a legally bound relationship of confidentiality.
These kinds of agreements are especially common in high-tech fields such as the Internet and in computer technology — things change so rapidly in these areas that non-disclosures are absolutely essential to keeping ahead of the competition.
Our attorneys will be able to tell you what kinds of information can be protected by a non-disclosure agreement and for how long. Like non-competes and non-solicitations, you need a skilled attorney to draft an NDA tailored to your specific needs — at HCFA, our seasoned business attorneys will focus in on anticipating advantages and potential dangers for your unique situation.
Our Troy, Michigan business law attorneys advise, draft, negotiate, and litigate for our clients regarding non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements. We offer experienced legal representation to protect your trade secrets, customer lists, and ideas. Contact us today at (248) 247-3300 or online for a confidential consultation.