If your company’s success depends on a secret process, proprietary information or trade secrets, it is important to keep that information where it belongs, even after an employee leaves. One of the most effective ways to protect the well-being of your business is with a non-compete agreement or confidentiality agreement.
Georgia businesses can keep their intellectual property and trade secrets secure with minimal legal effort. With the help of a lawyer, an employer can present enforceable and fair non-compete agreements to potential employees. Preventing legal issues over secret information is much more cost-effective than going to court over these matters in the future.
Do you need a non-compete agreement?
Not every company or business will need a non-compete agreement. If you are uncertain of the legal protections that your business requires, you should explore the benefit of a non-compete agreement if your competitive advantage relates to any of the following:
- A secret formula
- Recipe for a food or drink product
- Manufacturing process
- Client list
- Computer algorithms
- Private information of any kind
It is important to discuss your company’s objectives and goals with an attorney in order to fully understand how you can protect your business and still develop fair and enforceable employee agreements.
Enforceability is key
If a non-compete or confidentiality agreement is incorrect or poorly drafted, it will not stand up in court, and, ultimately, there will be no legal or financial consequences for former employees who release your information to a competitor. As you are drafting a non-compete agreement, consider the following to ensure that your agreements are strong, legally binding and beneficial:
- Length of restrictions for former employees
- Types of jobs that may be restricted
- Industries that are restricted to former employees
- Geographic limitations to the restrictions
- Proof that your business interests are genuinely at stake
- Terms of the confidentiality restrictions
Non-compete agreements must not put unfair or harmful boundaries on your employees in case they need to find another job in the future, but they must be very clear and appropriately restrictive in order to protect your longevity and any advantages your company has over the competition.
It is best to draft, review and enforce these types of legal contracts only with the assistance of an attorney who knows how to protect your company, both today and long into the future. Employees come and go, but with the right legal support, your information can stay where it belongs.