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lawnguy67
12-07-2007, 03:16 PM
A few of us are thinking of starting our business...but right now we work for one the big boys that do fertilization...weed control and related services..here in Michigan

We had to sign a non-compete agreement for one year...after we left the company..

anyone have any experience or knowledge on how to get around these...or avoid getting caught?

lawnpro724
12-07-2007, 03:24 PM
What services does the company you work for provide?? Do they do mowing? landscaping? lighting? A non compete contract means you can't provide the same services as your former employer or in other words be his competition. Try to provide services they don't offer until the non compete contract is up. If you violate the contract you could end up in court depending on what your former employer wants to do.

Gator Lawn
12-07-2007, 03:28 PM
That's funny. You sign a no compete contract and you want advice from here on how to worm out of it. You should be talking to a lawyer.

If the no compete was worded right you are best to just do something else for a year. If you are successful and they find out about it they will own your business.

lawnguy67
12-07-2007, 03:49 PM
signed that agreement over ten years ago

and we did talk to a lawyer...and his legal advice to someone like us...with not alot of money was to wait a year...but if we wanted to spend a lot of money...there is all sort of things one can do to try and "worm" out it..

I was simply looking to see if anyone had any experience with this issue..

Gator Lawn
12-07-2007, 04:12 PM
signed that agreement over ten years ago

and we did talk to a lawyer...and his legal advice to someone like us...with not alot of money was to wait a year...but if we wanted to spend a lot of money...there is all sort of things one can do to try and "worm" out it..

I was simply looking to see if anyone had any experience with this issue..

I'm curious now what your lawyer said you could do to worm out of the contract.

I've been looking at a few examples and I'd like to make sure the one I use has no loopholes. One thing is that I'll make the term longer than 1 yr.

cutemhigh
12-07-2007, 05:46 PM
I would only word the no compete to apply while they worked for me. You cant work for any landscaper while you work for me. To do otherwise, i mean, you cant control where people work after they leave you. its their business where they work, not mine. If Ive let them go, or they choose to leave.

racer56
12-07-2007, 07:21 PM
Being a sales manager for a major outfit before I have had alot of folks sign an nc. What it does is keep them from using company secrets against you, leaving and taking a % of the customer base for a lesser price, and keep you from educating and training someone only to have them use it against you. Typically they are 2 years from end of employment. HEre are some tips:

*Enforced for fired or quit (any reason)
*We always put a mileage or zone on the nc(say 100 miles from the co. office)
*Have a lawyer draw it up( most will fight for no extra cost to enforce if agreed up front)
*Have the signature noterized
*List the nc to relate to any and all services the company has provided in the past not just what he did at the company.

The most important thing of all is be up front with someone. Discuss what it means, how it may affect them down the road if things don't work out to work there, and make them sign it before they are offically hired (just as part of the application processduring an interview). If you are up front with them in the beginging then the judge will keep them out and you can sue for damages if any.
This is just my take on this and not legal advice so beware and check things out for yourself :laugh:

Lawnguy67: What you are doing is straight up wrong. I hope you get caught and sued, worry to say but have you any morels at all?

Frontier-Lawn
12-07-2007, 07:42 PM
A few of us are thinking of starting our business...but right now we work for one the big boys that do fertilization...weed control and related services..here in Michigan

We had to sign a non-compete agreement for one year...after we left the company..

anyone have any experience or knowledge on how to get around these...or avoid getting caught?

if you current boss only does counties 1 & 2, you do counties 3 & 4 that way your not competing in the area he works in.

Young Bros
12-08-2007, 12:24 AM
I worked at a trugreen and took my non-compete to a lawyer and he said i had to wait a year. I then worked for another company and signed a 2 year non-compete. I left there to a third company. The 2nd company said that he would not sue me if i did not take any of his customers. I am now starting my own business for 2008. My non-compete will be up in about ten months, so i will wait till then to go after 2nd guy customers. I bet the 3rd company wishes i signed a non-compete, because i am taking at least 1/2 of his spraying department.

Gator Lawn
12-08-2007, 12:29 AM
Being a sales manager for a major outfit before I have had alot of folks sign an nc. What it does is keep them from using company secrets against you, leaving and taking a % of the customer base for a lesser price, and keep you from educating and training someone only to have them use it against you. Typically they are 2 years from end of employment. HEre are some tips:

*Enforced for fired or quit (any reason)
*We always put a mileage or zone on the nc(say 100 miles from the co. office)
*Have a lawyer draw it up( most will fight for no extra cost to enforce if agreed up front)
*Have the signature noterized
*List the nc to relate to any and all services the company has provided in the past not just what he did at the company.

The most important thing of all is be up front with someone. Discuss what it means, how it may affect them down the road if things don't work out to work there, and make them sign it before they are offically hired (just as part of the application processduring an interview). If you are up front with them in the beginging then the judge will keep them out and you can sue for damages if any.
This is just my take on this and not legal advice so beware and check things out for yourself :laugh:

Lawnguy67: What you are doing is straight up wrong. I hope you get caught and sued, worry to say but have you any morels at all?

Very good info. I was thinking 50 miles and 5 years. Now, I think 100 miles and not sure of the years.

I like having it included as part of an application package. Nice to evaluate the reaction to it.

racer56
12-08-2007, 01:13 AM
Young bros. Remember if those folks will up and leave they will up and leave you. Seen a few guys try that in my day and very few really did when it came down to it. Most of it was just talk. Might also think about right and wrong at some point as well. "going after" his customers is considered preditory business practices and carries masive penalties but take your chances. Had an old sales guy I hired try that to an old company he used to work for. He sent a ton of direct mail to them and addressed detailed things about his old co. and we had a mess on our hands. They put an injunction on our business until we sorted everything out(fired him).
I have helped a few guys get into business as plenty of work for eeryone but just cherry picking folks you use to work for customers will come back to bite you. If you can't make it on your own then you won't last anyway. Just be another guy that "used to own a lawn business". Just trying to save you some headaches and not be mouthy so hope you don't take it that way.

Gator: 2 years is the standard, any more the judge will most likely toss altogether. It might be easier to restrict a county or 2 instead of a mileage limit. I have a fair amount of experience dealing with sales guys and nc paperwork. IWth a signed nc a company can easily get an injunction on the guy that left, delay the court date for as long as possible and drag everything out by then the jobless guy that left is running out of money fast most likely and normally just goes away. Sales is as cut throat of a business on Earth and I'm glad to be out of that position at least but benefit for the experience hopefully I can help any honest business owner hang onto his stuff.

Young Bros
12-08-2007, 01:41 AM
Young bros. Remember if those folks will up and leave they will up and leave you. Seen a few guys try that in my day and very few really did when it came down to it. Most of it was just talk. Might also think about right and wrong at some point as well. "going after" his customers is considered preditory business practices and carries masive penalties but take your chances. Had an old sales guy I hired try that to an old company he used to work for. He sent a ton of direct mail to them and addressed detailed things about his old co. and we had a mess on our hands. They put an injunction on our business until we sorted everything out(fired him).
I have helped a few guys get into business as plenty of work for eeryone but just cherry picking folks you use to work for customers will come back to bite you. If you can't make it on your own then you won't last anyway. Just be another guy that "used to own a lawn business". Just trying to save you some headaches and not be mouthy so hope you don't take it that way.



Well company #2 & #3 were not spraying lawns a few years ago. I built a trugreen from $200,000 to $600,000 in 6 years. Company #2 & #3 were mowing/landscaping only, so i would deal with them as sales manager. Trugreen sprayed their customers. My bro and I had a fall out with the owner. So my bro went to company #3 and started spraying. trugreen went to crap without us there, so #2 & #3 both started spraying. I tried to sell cars then worked for #2 & #3. Both places picked up where trugreen didnt, with service. The customers would have never left trugreen if they were taken care of. Both #2 & #3 my bro or i taught the owner how to spray and grow the business, from what we learned at trugreen. Without us there all 3 companies dont seem to care about the lawns like we do. So most of these customers i sold for trugreen years ago. We are going door to door, and they remember me, and are not happy with their service. Going good so far.

wooley99
12-08-2007, 02:02 AM
Lawnguy,

You could move, or do something else for a year or violate a written contract you willingly signed. In a good year you might be able to squeeze in all three.

Young Bros
12-20-2007, 11:45 AM
so has anyone gotten sued from someone you didnt sign a non-compete with?

rider
12-20-2007, 11:11 PM
Is a Non-Compete Agreement Legal?

Whether or not your non-compete agreement is a legal and binding contract depends on state or local laws, the scope of the restrictions your employer included, precedents set in court decisions, and a variety of other factors.

In a few states, they're generally not legal. For example, in California, a non-compete agreement is enforceable only if someone sells a business and agrees not to compete with the new owner. That aside, California employers cannot restrict the livelihood of their current or former employees.

But in many other states, they are legal. Still, these states typically don't want to deprive employees of earning a living in their chosen fields, but they also want to protect companies. It's a balancing act and scope is a big consideration. So, a non-compete agreement might be enforceable in your state, but only if it's reasonable in scope and necessary to protect the company's interests. For example, it might be enforceable if it restricts you from working for a competitor for six months within a 25-mile radius, but not beyond that scope or if you can prove it will seriously impact your right to make a living.

It might also depend on why you left the company. For example, if your employer fires you for "good cause" or you quit to take a new job, it might be enforceable. But if your company terminates you or you quit for reasons beyond your control, such as a layoff, wrongful termination or permanent disability, it might not. The courts are typically hesitant to enforce a non-comp when job loss is not the employee's fault.

Yet another consideration might be whether or not you were fairly compensated for signing such an agreement that gives up some of your rights. If you're a new-hire at the time your employer asks you to sign, then employment alone might be compensation enough, at least for a court. But if you've already worked there for awhile and your employer doesn't offer you an incentive to sign it, other than termination if you don't, then a court might be on your side if you refused to sign and your employer retaliated.

Regardless, some employers know, but don't care, that their non-compete agreements are not enforceable, in whole or part. They might try to get you to sign on the dotted line anyway. It's an intimidation tactic to protect that for which they have no right to protect. They count on employees not knowing or checking its legality. If you don't sign it, they might terminate or refuse to hire you, or deprive you of some benefit or perk. But the courts frown on employers behaving in this way, and you could have legal recourse if this happens to you.

If any part of a non-compete agreement is unreasonable, some courts will declare the entire document null and void. Other courts will simply "blue pencil" the document, meaning that they'll strike only what's unreasonable while enforcing the rest.

georgiagrass
12-22-2007, 12:39 PM
You signed a non compete, promising not to do something in return for working for your employer. Now you are saying that you want to avoid the commitment you made. Seems to me that your word should mean more.

Just my .02.

racer56
12-22-2007, 05:59 PM
I don't have any love for TG but it is just wrong to do this. I don't know if you have children but if you do you don't want them to find out about you going against your word. Why not just take a year off and do something else. In order to "get out" of the contract you will have to prove (in Court) that this type of work is ALL you can do and have to to feed yourself and family. If you can't prove this you will be sued for damages. Being in court as a new business with alot of lawyer expenses just to be stopped and your name run through the mud just getting going seems like alot to risk to me. I have signed them in the past and even moved due to them. But I still have my word intact... :nono:

bonddude
12-29-2007, 09:32 PM
Lawn guy whod you used to work for??? Where you live here in GR? Im thinking about starting up this year luckly I dont have to worry about what you do. Hope all goes well.

greg1
12-29-2007, 09:51 PM
FIIIGGGGGETTTTTABOUUTTITTT:hammerhead::hammerhead:

lifetree
12-29-2007, 11:20 PM
What services does the company you work for provide?? Do they do mowing? landscaping? lighting? A non compete contract means you can't provide the same services as your former employer or in other words be his competition. Try to provide services they don't offer until the non compete contract is up. ...

This is the best advice you'll find in answer to your question !!

jdmcat
01-12-2008, 08:03 AM
i have never signed a non-compete and never will. competition is what makes good a company great and a so-so one go out of business. why would you guys that require one be so afraid of one of your former employees working for a competitor? Thats like mcdonald's telling me i can't go work at burger king. i completely understand an agreement that would keep them from "going after" your current customers, but why try to shut them out of the industry? if a guy wants to go out on his own and pick up his own customers there shouldn't be a problem with that either. just my opinion

Dynamic
01-12-2008, 06:25 PM
Non compete is non compete. Young Bros seem like the grass world was made around them. The fact is you started with a business that the owner decided to take a chance and decided to hire you and train you and work with you. You just didn't wake up one morning knowing all of this, and it wasn't you who took the original chance to start a business but yet you decided to ride the coat tails of another, then try to screw him. Honour is difinetly a part of the past.

MJMScapes3
01-12-2008, 08:22 PM
Dynamic,

You are right on the money.:clapping::clapping: I wish everybody good luck, but there is more to running a BUSINESS than just doing the lawn work. Wait until they have to pay their bills even when their clients have not paid on time, or deal with their guys wanting more money or loans for you. :dancing::dancing:

They had no problem signing the nc, now they want to "worm out".:cry: How long will it be before they worm out on the clients. These guys should stick to selling cars. DB's

smcunningham
01-12-2008, 09:50 PM
I know someone who signed a nc....and still started his on biz just did it under his wifes name................

Young Bros
01-17-2008, 03:18 AM
so has anyone gotten sued without signing a non compete?

Dynamic
01-17-2008, 10:43 AM
You cna't get sued if you don't sign a non-compete claus its more like you won't get the job if you don't sign.

georgiagrass
01-17-2008, 07:19 PM
Many LCOs will make signing a non-compete and/or non-solicitation agreement a condition of obtaining employment at the time of hiring or as a condition of retaining employment after starting the job.

texslawncare
01-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Let me know if you start your business, Maybe I'll come work for you. :rolleyes:

Get it.

Lurch01
03-03-2011, 06:09 PM
I always use a non compete agreement if I can. I am working as of the moment on drawing a new one up for other sub contractors to do work for e on things I do not perform like landscaping etc.

Anyone have a good one for sale, I can trade some excellent contracts my lawyer drew up.

dieselman29200
03-04-2011, 12:13 AM
What about if you signed a nc 3 or four years ago, and you never got a coppy of it and it was never notorized. How legal is it? How is one to remember the conditions of the contract?

mykayel
03-04-2011, 12:43 AM
As already stated, non compete contracts are a delicate balancing act between buisness rights and personal rights. To make an employee sign a non compete IMHO is about as selfesh as a buisness can be. You hire someone without any experience, pay them little because they don't have experience and train them with your time/money. Now you the buisness have complete control over them, they can't change employers if your a scum bag or refuse to pay them well onec they have experience. They can't go out on their own, nothing. Basiclly the buisness thinks they have the right to treat their employes without respect. What are you afriad of? If your employees are that good and you are afraid of them as compition, why don't you pay them well enough to keep them around. But with a non-compete you can screw the employee and 'protect your buisness' at the same time. To me they are just dirty buisness practices.

dieselman29200
03-04-2011, 08:33 AM
I agree. If an employer is honest and treats his employees right, and earns their respect, he shouldn't't have to worry about them stealing his business. whatever happened to this being a free country with free enterprise anyway?