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Why would an Ohio employer utilize noncompete agreements?

As an employer in Ohio, you have a lot on the line in your business. As you bring in new employees, you need to be able to trust that you can share an open relationship with them and form a mutually beneficial partnership.

One such way to do so is to execute a noncompete agreement at the time of hiring. It is a contract that doesn't permit employees to work with businesses or in markets that are competitors after leaving your employ for a set amount of time.

It isn't just full-time staff members with whom employers can engage in noncompete agreements. A company might want to ask independent contractors and consultants to sign such an agreement, which would prevent them from taking what they learned with Company A to its subsequent work with Company B.

In what instances would employers want to have a noncompete agreement?

They can be enacted anytime a business wants assurance that when an employee leaves a company or when the contractor's time is up, they can't disclose any trade secrets or knowledge about the company. That can include information about how it works, its clients or customers, its business strategy, its current products or those in development, its pricing or its marketing plan.

A noncompete agreement generally will last for a specified amount of time after employment ends. These dates should be set in advance and be long enough to protect the company and short enough to allow employees to continue their careers with another venture.

Courts tend to uphold agreements that have reasonable terms, such as the length of time or limitations on regions where former employees can or can't work. A business attorney can engage with your company to draft a noncompete agreement that meets legal requirements and will benefit all parties.

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