non-compete agreement

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Field General, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Field General

    Field General LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    I am going to make a concerted effort to grow my customer base within the next couple of years.I will have to hire some help, at least part-time, as a spray tech. I do not want to teach someone the business, and then have to worry about them starting their own service and providing more competition in my area.While many say competition if a good thing, too much saturation could cause anyone trouble.

    This finally leads to my question.....Does anyone make new employees sign any kind of a non-compete clause as a condition of employment.

    Your thoughts please...thanks
     
  2. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Dont bother, you cant deney someone the right to make a living, NO competes were designed for companies with trade secerts, or for stealing employees
    If your going into this worrying about a employee that you dont even have yet, being your cometition then you maybe ignoring larger issues
    Ive worked for companies that had no competes and they rarely work and you gotta be prepared to spend alot of money inforcing it
     
  3. Field General

    Field General LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    James....it's not something I'm worried about....more curious than anything....thanks
     
  4. DAZED AND CONFUSED

    DAZED AND CONFUSED LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    field general one question on hot teaching the new employee the buisness.

    what competion do you want a knowledged ind who really knows what it takes to run a buisness who would be competeing at industry rates and has all the licensing and insurance that you have to provide or a fly by nite who will undercut you and do such a lousy job that the customer will never want a fert guy again?

    **********just think about it ************
     
  5. Field General

    Field General LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    dazed...good thought...this is the imput I'm looking for...thanks
     
  6. philk17088

    philk17088 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 17,386

    I would absolutely have a no compete clause. No, you can't stop somebody from making a living but you can protect your customer base.
     
  7. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    No compete's dont protect your customer base, thats the point, people think they do but they dont, in the few cases it worked its because the employee stole customer lists, you dont need a no compete go after whats allready against the law.

    "I do not want to teach someone the business, and then have to worry about them starting their own service and providing more competition in my area."

    You said worry in your post
     
  8. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    I have used them but have never had to exercise there merit simply because either the employee was no threat to compete or they went on to another line of work. For a non-compete to be enforceable you need to have them be biding like a contract. JUST HIRING SOMEONE IS NOT BIDING, but giving a small signing bonus for their signing the contract can make a n on-compete have some teeth. making a non-compete too restrictive can come back to hurt you as well, just make it clear to the areas you service and a length of time well enough to justify the employee would not readily do that same task the day after they leave you for the other operator down the street. Non-competes can work but can't be so restrictive as to not allow someone to be able to seek work with skills they already have.
     
  9. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    james, I think you and I had similar non-competes a long time ago, lol, needless to say they wern't worth much the way they were exercised.
     
  10. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Yeh Grass...they are used just to scare you into thinking they mean somethng...bottom line is...if the employee steals confidential information (Customer lists, price scales, paperwork) or trade secerts, these are things already procted by local and state laws, I think what "Field" was thinking if he hires John Smith and he works for one year, then quits he wants to stop him from starting his own business and calling on all "Fields" customers. Well thats not protected, because I can follow "fields" around for days and jot down the address of the lawns he stops at and look up that customer in the phone book and try to sell them. No difference in the "eyes of the law"

    Funny though, Lawnmark of Maine, never had us sign one, It was only when Trugreed bought Old Fox
     

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