Non-Compete Agreements in Florida

Has a potential employer asked you to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment or has your current employer asked you to sign one because you have been offered a promotion within the company? Maybe you signed one when you accepted your current position and you now wish to resign that position, but you are concerned about how the non-compete agreement will impact your ability to accept a new job after you resign. In all of these scenarios, it is imperative to understand what a non-compete agreement is, whether it is enforceable in the State of Florida, and what are the consequences if it is enforced. What Is a Non-Compete Agreement?    A non-compete agreement, also referred to as a “covenant not to compete,” a “non-competition clause” or a “restrictive covenant,” is a contract between an employer and an employee in which the employee agrees not to enter into competition with the employer during and/or after employment.  It is easy to see why an employer might feel the need for a non-compete agreement under certain circumstances. From an employer’s perspective, the employer wants to prevent an employee from going to work for a competitor or starting a competing business, and making use of trade secrets, customer lists, business practices or other sensitive information obtained while employed by the employer. For example, assume you work for a software company selling one of its products. As a sales representative, your employer has spent time and resources training you on how its product works, has introduced you to its customers and paid you to develop relationships with these customers, and has provided you with information regarding the pricing of its product which, in many instances, is not public information.  Without a non-compete agreement in place, there is very little stopping you


Potential Pitfalls of a Commercial Lease

If you are a small business owner, chances are good that you will need to lease commercial space at some point. Whether you need to find somewhere to house your office, a retail storefront or warehouse space for your products, understanding how commercial leases work and knowing about potential pitfalls ahead of time can help you avoid costly and time-consuming problems in the future. Understanding the Types of Commercial Leases In a commercial lease, you pay a certain amount of rent for each square foot of space.  There are two main types of commercial leases: gross leases and net leases. Gross Leases. A gross lease essentially means that the rent you pay per square foot includes all expenses, including real estate taxes, utilities, and maintenance. Net Leases. In a net lease, your rent amount per square foot is lower, but you’ll pay additionally for three categories of expenses: taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance (CAM) expenses.  There are different types of net leases, including single net leases, double net leases and triple net leases.  In a single net lease, the tenant is response for one of these categories of expenses, for example, taxes.  In a triple net lease, the tenant is responsible for all three categories of expenses: taxes, insurance and CAM fees. Spotting Potential Pitfalls No two commercial leases are the same and reviewing a commercial lease can be a challenging task for a prospective commercial tenant.  Additionally, there are fewer laws protecting consumers when it comes to commercial leases, as business owners are expected to be more savvy than individuals leasing residential properties.  By understanding key provisions and negotiating terms most favorable to the tenant, a commercial tenant is able to mitigate his or her risk and liability in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. Here are a