Questions You Should Ask When Negotiating a Non-Compete Agreement
With the excitement that comes with landing a new job, many people never pay attention to the non-complete agreement they are given to sign. You probably don’t have any intentions of leaving a job that you haven’t even started. Besides, you will not want to brush shoulders with the people you will soon be working for.
Although they were most popular among tech companies, non-complete agreements are increasingly becoming commonplace in other sectors.
Writers, interns, and hairstylists are often asked to sign non-compete agreements before they start working. If you don’t understand what non-compete agreements are, then talking to San Francisco business attorneys should be the first step.
There have been extensive debates on whether non-compete agreements restrict economic development by discouraging other people from starting their own companies. States like California have abolished the use of non-compete agreements on job seekers. Some people believe that this is the reason why the state has a lot of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.
Irrespective of the future implications, if a potential employer asks you to sign a non-compete agreement, you should think twice before appending your signature. This is because such agreements are designed to benefit the company and not you as an employee. You can also consult with a business attorney in San Francisco to shed more light on the contents of the agreement.
If you desperately need the job and would like to sign the agreement, then it would be good to have a clear understanding of what is contained in the agreement. A San Francisco business lawyer will be best placed to go through the agreement and help you make an informed decision.
Below are some of the important questions you should ask when negotiating a non-compete agreement:
Who does the contract limit?
Before you sign the non-compete agreement, it is important to understand the contract or agreement in terms of limitations. How does the contract limit you? How does it limit your employer? Understanding these limitations will help you determine how damaging or insignificant the contract is to your professional career.
What kind of opportunities are limited?
This is another important question that you should ask your prospective employer while negotiating a non-compete agreement. For example, you should ask particular roles or functions that the company will prohibit you from undertaking. This can be much easier to understand when you have already talked to an experienced San Francisco business attorney.
When will the agreement expire?
There is a limit as to when the non-complete agreement should come to an end. Some employers will do everything possible not to reveal the exact time that the agreement should be terminated. Most of them prefer to leave it open.
However, during the negotiations, you should insist to know exactly when the non-complete agreement will cease to operate. It doesn’t matter whether it is four months or six years, ensure it is clearly stipulated in the contract agreement.
Where exactly will you not be allowed to work?
In some non-compete agreements, employers set future boundaries where you should work and not work in terms of location. Understanding these types of restrictions will help you to know if sighing the agreement is the best decision or not. It is a good idea to work closely with a San Francisco business negotiation lawyer to found out how such restrictions will affect you.
Why should you sign the clause?
Last but not least, ask why the company requires you to sign the clause. Non-complete agreements are designed to protect genuine business interests. If this is not the case, then there is no need for new employees to sign the agreement.
In a nutshell, sometimes you are left with no option but to sign a non-compete agreement. If this is the case, then you need to hire an experienced San Francisco business negotiation attorney from James M. Braden to negotiate for better terms.