The world of business in Florida is full of potential – but also fraught with challenges. One area where these challenges frequently emerge is in the realm of non-compete agreements. This article will explore the specific laws surrounding non-compete agreements in Florida and how they can affect both businesses and employees.
Non-compete agreements, also known as a covenant not to compete, are legal contracts that prohibit an employee from working for a competitor or starting a competing business within a specified time and geographic area after leaving the company. These agreements are governed by Section 542.335 of the Florida Statutes.
Florida law is generally favorable towards non-compete agreements, provided they protect legitimate business interests and are reasonable in scope and duration. Legitimate business interests can include trade secrets, valuable confidential business information, substantial relationships with customers, goodwill associated with a trademark, and specialized training.
However, enforcing a non-compete agreement can be a complex endeavor. Courts are required to evaluate whether the restrictions are necessary to protect the legitimate business interest, whether they impose an undue hardship on the employee, and whether they are injurious to the public.
On the other side of the coin, if you’re an employee looking to break free from a non-compete agreement, it’s crucial to understand that not all non-compete agreements are enforceable. There might be ways to invalidate the agreement or negotiate its terms.
Whether you’re a business aiming to protect your interests or an employee seeking to understand your rights, navigating the seas of non-compete agreements can be a daunting task. Engaging a competent business law attorney can provide essential guidance and peace of mind. They can help draft enforceable agreements, evaluate the enforceability of existing contracts, and represent you in any litigation arising from these agreements. Your attorney can help ensure your journey through the world of non-compete agreements in Florida is more smooth sailing.
Understanding each requirement of adverse possession is key. ‘Open and notorious’ means that the possession of the property must be visible and apparent, not secret. ‘Exclusive’ means the person claiming adverse possession cannot share possession with the true owner or the public. ‘Continuous’ refers to the requirement that the adverse possessor must maintain continuous possession of the property for a specific period, typically seven years in Florida, though this can be reduced if the adverse possessor has a “color of title”. ‘Hostile’ doesn’t imply any aggression; instead, it means the possessor’s interest is opposed to the owner’s rights. ‘Claim of right or color of title’ means the person claiming adverse possession must either occupy the land believing they have a right to it or have a defective title document.
While these conditions may seem stringent, cases of adverse possession do occur. The reason adverse possession is still upheld in modern law is primarily to maintain the productivity of the land and to ensure land is not left idle.
In an era where many people invest in properties they rarely see, the danger of adverse possession becomes even more real. It’s important for landowners, particularly absentee owners, to regularly check on their properties or employ the services of a property manager.
In addition, landowners can protect themselves by adequately fencing their property, posting ‘no trespassing signs, giving written permission for any use of their land, and taking swift action against any unauthorized occupants as soon as they become aware of them.
Whether you’re a property owner looking to safeguard your assets or you’re caught in an adverse possession claim, having an experienced real estate attorney by your side is indispensable. They can help you understand and navigate the often-complex Florida real estate laws, represent your interests in any legal proceedings, and work towards the most favorable outcome for your situation.
Get in touch with an attorney at Legal Counsel P.A. today.
Reach them at:
Winter Garden (Main Office)
13330 W. Colonial Dr., #110
Winter Garden, Florida 34787
189 S. Orange Ave., Ste. 1800
Orlando, Florida 32801
3416 Shader Road, Suite 112-B
Orlando, FL 32808