Non-Competition and Confidentiality Agreements in WA
Helping employers protect their businesses
The true value of a business often stems from a number of intangible assets: things like goodwill, client relationships, reputation and know-how. And your employees — especially key employees — by necessity have access to and influence over this information. Protecting this valuable asset can be challenging but it is possible through judicious use of Bellingham confidentiality agreements and non-competes. At Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP, our employment lawyers understand the contractual principles, legal precedent and practical considerations that go into negotiating and drafting these agreements. We use this understanding to help our clients protect their businesses from disclosure or usurpation by former employees, associates or contractors.
The importance of confidentiality agreements
Your business no doubt has closely guarded information that is crucial to your profitability and success. You accumulated this information over a long time and at great expense and effort. But by necessity, many of your key employees and contractors must have access to it. When those individuals move on to other businesses, they carry that information with them and. And — unless prevented by intellectual property and trade secrets law — they are free to disclose that information to their new employer in the absence of a thorough confidentiality agreement drafted by an experienced employment lawyer in Bellingham.
Understanding non-competes in Washington State
When your employees work closely with your customers, they can form close relationships with them, especially in service and sales-oriented businesses. This can be beneficial to your business as it keeps customers coming back to deal with a person they trust. But when these employees leave, there is a potential for them to take a substantial number of your customers with them unless your business has protection. Non-competes accomplish this by preventing former employees from going into a similar business in your area.
But while non-competes may seem straightforward, there are numerous legal principles with which they must comply. Non-competes that are overly broad or incorrectly drafted may be legally invalid, exposing your company to customer loss. But by having your employee contracts include a through non-compete drafted by a competent employment lawyer, you can protect your customer base from solicitation by former employees or associates.
Consult a knowledgeable employment attorney today
At Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP, our lawyers boast more than 130 years of combined experience in the various aspects of employment and contract law. From our offices in Bellingham, WA, we serve clients throughout Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties and British Columbia, providing an alternative to the expensive and impersonal Seattle firms. Contact us today online or by calling 360-671-6565 to schedule a consultation.