Non-compete agreements can be crucial documents for business owners. These agreements can help mitigate the risk of a former employee accepting a job from a competitor or starting their own business that directly competes with yours. But as useful as non-compete agreements can be for employers, they can be legally tricky to enforce.
You have put immeasurable time and effort into procuring the right customers and employees for your business. You recruited the top talent in your field because you knew that your company would be only as strong as its employees. Then, you painstakingly built a roster of reliable, loyal clients who have made your business what it is today. So, when one of your employees leaves your company and takes one of your clients with them, you are understandably upset.
As a business owner, you have no doubt entered into several contracts with your partners, clients, contractors and other parties. Usually, these contracts ensure that everything runs smoothly for everyone involved. Sometimes, though, this doesn’t work out. Perhaps one of the signatories violates the terms of the contract by failing to hold up its end of the bargain. In this case, you have a breach of contract.
Contract disputes are a messy part of owning a business that you may believe are inevitable. All too often, an employee or partner takes issue with some part of a contract, no matter how minute, resulting in costly litigation for your company.
Many people use the term “non-compete” interchangeably when referring to any employer-based restrictive covenant, and the possible disputes or contractual issues that may arise from one. In fact, this term is only one part of four main types of stipulations often found in employee contracts, and it’s important to know which one applies to you.
One of the most important signs that your business is succeeding is the need to hire more workers. This growth is a sign of confidence and optimism, not just for an individual business but also for the economy. And recently, it was announced that there was a six-point increase in job creation among small businesses last month.
Uber and Google are not the only two that can steal the intellectual property headlines. A recent settlement in a breach of contract lawsuit between Tesla and the maker of their autopilot feature on their cars briefly made people forget about the epic lawsuit between the two giants of the tech industry.
While the following story isn't happening in this country, it is still an important news story that highlights some critical aspects of contracts and contract disputes. This story is from Canada, where the management company for public transportation for the Greater Toronto area tried to cancel a contract they had with a rail car manufacturer from 2010.
As we have discussed on this blog before, contract disputes are complicated, but important, pieces of business litigation. Companies that enter into contracts (usually) have the best of intentions. However, unforeseen circumstances or logistical complications can make it difficult, if not impossible, for one party to fulfill its end of the contract. This is where a breach of contract can occur.
Contracts are formed with both symbolic and literal meaning. Symbolically, a contract represents a shared trust that two or more sides have with each other. Literally, a contract represents an agreed upon set of rules and guidelines for how the two or more sides will work together to achieve a common and mutually beneficial goal. Having the contract in written form and legally recognized is important, so that if one side doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, there is a legal process for the victimized side to seek justice.