Non-Compete in Florida

I am currently employed as a Manager at a real estate firm. Last year my broker had me sign a non-compete/non-solicitation agreement. At the time I was not an "employee", I was working as a realtor/independent contractor. I did not start the salaried "employee" position until 3 months later. I am now looking at opening my OWN Real Estate firm, but am worried that my current broker will enforce the non-compete agreement if I do so. The agreement states that it will be binding for one year after termination of employment and that I will not compete in ANY geographic that this Real Estate brokerage owns and is directly engaged in business. My question is two fold- 1) Since I signed this prior to being an "employee"- is this enforceable? 2) Since selling real estate is what I do for a living, would restricting me to in ANY geographic area be considered too broad and unenforceable? Thank you in advance for your assistance.

1 answer  |  asked Aug 14, 2007 4:49 PM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

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Answers (1)

David Goldman
ContractGenerally in order for a non-compete to be valid, there first be a contract. From what you have stated, it appears there may be a problem with consideration. It would be hard to tell without actually seeing the agreement. In addition, the geographic scope could have problems. TimeIn Florida a term of 6 months or less is presumed to be valid and a term of more than 2 years is presumed to be invalid. Your term is in the middle the reasonableness of it would have to be proved.I would have an attorney review the agreement. The florida Bar prohibits the dispensing of legal advise in an online forum. For more information on non-compete agreements in Florida you might look at posted by David Goldman  |  Aug 15, 2007 08:44 AM [EST]

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