When you are forming a business, you must make a host of potentially difficult decisions which will ultimately affect the ways in which your business is structured, operated and received. It is important to discuss these decisions with an experienced attorney, as failure to do so could lead to tricky legal consequences down the road.
For example, when you are thinking about hiring employees for your business, you should not simply place a “now hiring” sign in the window. You should discuss the kinds of employment contracts you will need to execute with your attorney. When interviewing potential employees, you will need to consider how their past experience and future goals may impact your business aims.
You may not initially think to be concerned about your employees’ future career goals. However, if your employees ultimately wish to work for competitors or wish to start their own competing businesses, your business may be affected by these goals. In an effort to protect your business from certain potentially harmful choices made by your employees, you may wish to insert valid non-complete clauses into their employment contracts.
Non-compete clauses may be inserted into contracts that have yet to be negotiated with potential employees. Non-compete agreements may also be executed independently of an initial employment contract under certain circumstances. These clauses and agreements help to ensure that business secrets remain intact and that businesses remain competitive. It should be noted however that non-compete clauses and agreements must be drafted with care in order to remain enforceable. Consulting with an attorney about these legal tools is therefore generally a favorable idea.
Source: Findlaw Free Enterprise, “How to Write a Valid Non-Compete Agreement,” Christopher Coble, March 24, 2015