Tampa, FL asked in Business Formation, Business Law and Employment Law for Florida

Q: Is a person who has their own business, working as a 1099 independent subject to a non- competition contract?

I have an LLC, EIN, business license and taxi. All of which I had while working with yellow cab of Sarasota. I payed them a portion of my wages for Dispatch services. Soon after I began working with yellow cab, I was made to sign a very basic non- competition paper. All along i was a 1099 independent contractor. We have since , as of August, 2023, gone our separate ways. This week I have received 2 letters from a lawyer stating that I cannot work in my business .... for two years. I disagree. What do you think?

1 Lawyer Answer
Shayla N. Waldon
Shayla N. Waldon
  • Cooper City, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: There are many variables here, starting with who signed the non-compete agreement, i.e., whether it was done in an individual capacity or whether it was signed on behalf of your company. A contractor in Florida likely could have a non-compete enforced against him/her, provided that the hiring entity shows, among other things, that it legitimately should be permitted to enforce the agreement. On occasion, I've written those types of agreements for clients who had contractors, and the agreements should be written very carefully. If not, enforceability could really be a challenge for them (which may be good for you). You certainly should reach out to a lawyer who specializes in reviewing and evaluating non-compete agreements to determine the full scope of your rights, especially because you already have received cease and desist letters (and a lawsuit may soon be filed).

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