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Non-compete clauses

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by lawnguy67, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. lawnguy67

    lawnguy67 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    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?
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    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.
  3. Gator Lawn

    Gator Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    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.
  4. lawnguy67

    lawnguy67 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    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..
  5. Gator Lawn

    Gator Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    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.
  6. cutemhigh

    cutemhigh LawnSite Member
    from 44060
    Messages: 30

    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.
  7. racer56

    racer56 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 285

    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?
  8. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    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.
  9. Young Bros

    Young Bros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    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.
  10. Gator Lawn

    Gator Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    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.

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