When you hire someone to work for your company, you probably do so with the belief that he or she is going to stick around for a while. Once this person officially signs on to work for you, you probably let him or her in on the techniques, resources and other areas that make your business particularly unique or valuable. What happens, though, if this person decides to leave your business and sign on with one of your competitors? 

Per Entrepreneur, unless you take certain steps to protect your business, you run the risk of one of your workers leaving your company, signing on with another and potentially taking your contacts, ideas and the like with them. Doing so has the potential to lead to considerable financial losses, but you may be able to avoid such a scenario by having your employees sign carefully drafted noncompete agreements. 

Noncompete agreements exist to restrict former employees of a particular company from taking certain actions. However, your agreement may not stand up in court unless you take the necessary steps to make sure it is enforceable. For example, you need to take care not to make your noncompete agreement too restrictive, or a judge could potentially decide not to enforce it. 

Similarly, you need to express within your noncompete agreement exactly what skills, secrets or training opportunities you gave your employee that would give him or her an unfair advantage if he or she were to compete with you. While you are not legally able to restrain ordinary competition, you are able to dictate, for example, that you do not want that worker to use the specialized training you provided in his or her new role. Find more about this topic on our webpage.