Are independent contractors subject to non-compete agreements?

Are independent contractors subject to non-compete agreements? Generally, no. However, in Florida, which is considered to be the most employer friendly state in the country when it comes to non-compete agreements, independent contractors are subject to covenants not to compete just like employees are. Employers interested in entering into a non-compete agreement with an independent contractor should make note of the following criteria.

  1. Non-compete agreements must further a “legitimate business interest.” Under Fla. Stat. 542.335, The term “legitimate business interest” is defined in the statute to include, but not limited to: (1) trade secrets; (2) valuable confidential business or professional information that does not qualify as trade secrets; (3) substantial relationships with specific prospective or existing customers, patients or clients; (4) “client goodwill” relating to a “trade dress”; and (5) extraordinary or specialized training.
  2. Non-compete agreements must be reasonable in time, area, and line of business. Fla. Stat. 542.335(1)(d) provides that a court will presume 6 months or less as reasonable, and more than two years as unreasonable. For geographic scope, “reasonable” will usually mean the areas in which the employer does most of its business.

If any of this resonates with you or you have general questions regarding non-compete agreements or restrictive covenants, feel free to reach out to us directly at info@epgdlaw.com or call to schedule a consultation (786) 837 – 6787.

*Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to be legal advise. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*