Contracts are used by different companies to keep rules and agreements amongst employees and the companies that employ them. At times, non-compete agreements can be challenging to understand and an employee may not know what it means when they are asked to sign a contract, or what their responsibilities are if they may leave the company. At Hollis Law Firm, our attorneys help our clients in making the best legal and employment decisions. Continue reading to discover more about non-compete agreements and how a lawyer can help you understand your rights in a contract.
What Is a Non-compete Agreement?
Non-compete agreements limit employees from working with competitive businesses and deals in a given industry. Most businesses implement enforceable agreements to try and limit the opportunity for competition in the event that a previous employee attempts to work with a competitor and share their information. These agreements typically outline a time frame, a set distance where the employee cannot work with a nearby competitor, and other components that may be specific to their industry.
These agreements are geared to limit the opportunity for work of its previous employees rather than the specifics of soliciting clients and services, which are often outlined in a non-solicitation agreement instead. Employees that are subjected to signing these contracts are often higher-level employees such as executives that have knowledge of a company’s confidential information.
Components of a Non-compete Agreement
Non-competition agreements must stay within the reasonable limits and terms under Missouri law in order to be enforceable. Since it is intended to prevent unfair competition rather than limit employees from finding jobs, there are specific requirements to determine a reasonable scope for these agreements. Missouri enforces non-compete agreements if:
- The agreement is no more restrictive than necessary to protect the interests of the employer.
- The agreement must be limited to a reasonable geographic area, depending on the competition of the employer’s business.
- The competition is clearly outlined in the agreement, or reasonably prohibits business and employment with direct competition.
Contracts can limit employees actions, whether currently or in the future for the purpose of employment and involvement within a company. It is important to understand contracts, agreements, and limitations of your new employment or position within a company to prevent legal consequences of a breach in contract. Professional employment attorneys can help you make the best decision that aligns with your rights and helps you understand the law.
Can a Lawyer Help Me after I Signed a Non-compete Agreement?
Business owners often hire business lawyers to ensure that their non-compete agreements are enforceable in a court of law and can hold their employees accountable. Lower level employees in a company may not have an competitive advantage in accepting employment with another company, and non-compete agreements would not be as effective in these cases as compared to higher-level employees and partners that have more confidential knowledge. A non-compete agreement attorney can help an employee who has signed a contract by:
- Evaluating the agreement, either before or after it is presented to you
- Helping you understand the agreement enforcement
- Helping you understand the restrictions and restraints
- Helping you receive a release if a non-compete agreement
- Providing legal counsel and representation in the case of contract violations
Regardless of your standing within a company, seeking legal advice when you are presented with a non-compete agreement can help you prevent repercussions in the event of a breach of contract. Skilled attorneys can help you prove whether or not the terms of the agreement are enforceable in your case.
Call Hollis Law Firm for a Non-compete Agreement Lawyer to Gain Professional Legal Advice in Kansas City
If you have signed a non-compete agreement or are in the process of accepting employment with a company that requires non-compete agreements, seeking legal counsel can help you understand and determine what your rights are. Contracts and employment agreements vary, and Hollis Law Firm is dedicated to helping our Kansas City clients with sound legal advice and contract decisions. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at (800) 701-3672 to schedule your free consultation with our law firm.