How a Non-Compete Agreement Can Benefit Your Business

non-compete, Wheaton business lawyersWhen an individual purchases a business, they are not only buying the physical assets associated with that business. They are also taking ownership of more abstract assets like the existing customer base, the name and reputation of the business, and intellectual property. Understandably, someone who buys a business wants to ensure that the value of these intangible assets is not reduced because the original owner of the business is opening a competing business in the same market. This is just one of many situations in which a non-compete agreement can be beneficial.

How Does a Non-Compete Agreement Work?

Put simply, a non-compete agreement is a legally binding contract involving a promise not to enter into business competition of some kind. Non-competition clauses are most often used to prevent an employee from working for a competitor or starting a business that competes with his or her employer’s business. These agreements can also include a provision prohibiting the employee from disclosing proprietary information to other parties. Covenants not to compete are often also required of business consultants and contractors.

Non-Compete Agreements Must Meet Certain Criteria to be Enforceable

Of course, a non-competition agreement cannot simply instruct an employee to never again work in a certain field. The scope and duration of a non-compete must be reasonable for the contract to be valid. Illinois courts have ruled that non-compete agreements are only valid if certain criteria is met. It is advised that any business utilizing a non-compete in Illinois provides employees with continuous employment for at least two years as well as additional consideration in the form of perks like bonuses or higher compensation.

If a non-compete agreement does not meet the criteria required by Illinois law, the agreement may be completely unenforceable. There can be unexpected and serious repercussions when a non-compete agreement is not legally binding. The best way to ensure that you employee contracts are valid, reasonable, and effective is to have these contracts reviewed by a qualified business law attorney.

Contact a DuPage County Business Agreement Attorney

If you are a current business owner, plan to buy a business, or have business law-related needs, the skilled Wheaton business law attorney at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. We have provided the DuPage County community and surrounding areas with knowledgeable business law counsel since 1996, and we have the experience and education required to assist you with a wide range of business concerns. Call us at 630-665-2500 to schedule a personalized consultation.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/noncompete-agreement.asp

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianagardella/2015/07/25/the-limits-of-non-compete-agreements/

Why Does Wording Matter in Business Contracts?

wording, Wheaton business contract lawyersMost people were taught at a reasonably young age to be sure to read anything they sign, especially documents that create a contractual relationship. If you own a business, you probably realize the importance of doing so now more than ever. The reason is simple: the wording of your contracts matters a great deal. Moreover, the way that a contract is worded is crucial to the enforceability of the agreement. One misunderstood clause or provision could cost your company thousands of dollars, and the contract might not be enforceable in the way that you understood it to be.

How Poor Wording Can Cost Your Business

Nearly all business transactions are guided by some type of contract, including those between you and your suppliers, your clients, and even your employees. The reality is that poor wording or confusing language in a contract can put your company at risk in just about every way you can imagine. You could face legal action for failing to meet your customers’ expectations. You could find yourself on the short end of deals with your suppliers. You could even be facing wrongful termination lawsuits and other litigation related to your employees.

Key Elements of Business Contracts

Each contract is going to be different, as various types of contracts are used to serve specific purposes. For this reason, you should work with a qualified business contact attorney before signing any agreement with a partner, distributor, supplier, employee, customer, or client. This can allow you to be sure that the wording of the contract does not put your company at risk and that you did not overlook any elements that should have been included in the contact. Such elements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Clear verbiage in simple language to reduce misunderstandings;
  • A section that defines the terms as they used in the agreement;
  • Warranties, limitations, and exclusions that are applicable to specific products or services;
  • Limitations on liability or liability exclusions, as appropriate;
  • Provisions on how disputes regarding the contract;
  • A provision that releases both parties from the contract if unforeseen circumstances should occur; and
  • All relevant details about the services and products, such as pricing, payments, interests, and penalties.

Contract Review Is Crucial

Whether you have drafted the contract yourself or the contract was drawn up by the other party, you should always have it reviewed by your lawyer before you sign it. Your attorney can help you identify possible areas of concern and can propose changes that might need to be made to protect your best interests.

Call a Wheaton Contract Lawyer for Help

At Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, each of our attorneys has over 40 years of legal experience, and we are equipped to help you with all of your business contract concerns. For guidance with drafting a new contract or to have a contract reviewed, contact an experienced DuPage County business lawyer at our firm. Call 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation

 

Sources:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/write-contract-verbiage-17516.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2013/10/03/big-legal-mistakes-made-by-start-ups/

What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Non-Disclosure Agreements

DuPage County contract attorneysOne of the most important parts of owning a business is forming beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs and businesses. In an ideal world, these relationships could be casual, but handshake agreements are not always honored. Informal business agreements can quickly go south and result in damage to your business’s bottom line. Business agreements involving another party should be formalized in writing. One such agreement is a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA. Non-disclosure agreements are often essential to protecting a company’s professional interests and continued success.

How Does a Non-Disclosure Agreement Work?

Non-disclosure agreements are a type of confidentiality agreement used to prevent sensitive company information from being shared with other parties. An NDA is a legally binding document which can be used in a variety of situations, most often during proposed or pending business transactions. A company may choose to use an NDA during the sale or purchase of a business, a merger, or during any other conversation in which privileged information is being shared. When discussing a possible merger, for example, the other party will learn information about your business which you may not want shared with anyone else. Allowing news of the merger to reach other businesses or even the press may not be in your best interest. In this example, an NDA can be used to ensure that the other party does not divulge company information to others.

The Two Main Types of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The most common types of non-disclosure agreement are one-way agreements and mutual agreements. A one-way NDA is also called a unilateral NDA. As the name implies, one-way NDAs only bind one of the parties to confidentiality. A unilateral NDA may be useful in preventing potential investors from revealing your business’s information to other people or companies. If you use a one-way NDA in this scenario, you do not have a reciprocating requirement to keep the potential investors’ information confidential. A mutual NDA, on the other hand, applies confidentiality requirements to both parties in a business transaction. A mutual NDA should be used when dissemination of either party’s information could adversely impact the business or the industry. Companies discussing the possibility of a merger most often use a mutual NDA.

Contact a DuPage County, Illinois Business Law Attorney

The Wheaton business lawyers at Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC, have experience helping clients create formal contracts like non-disclosure agreements and offer many other business law services as well. Schedule a consultation with our law firm by calling 630-665-2500 today.

Sources:

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4760-non-disclosure-agreement.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2016/03/10/the-key-elements-of-non-disclosure-agreements/