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Littleton Colorado Business Law Blog

Pet doctors fight back against noncompete agreement

A pair of veterinarians have taken on one of the world’s largest veterinary care conglomerates, fighting a noncompete clause that they suggest unfair business practices.

The lawsuit highlights the rapid consolidation of the pet healthcare industry, as well as growing resistance to covenants to not compete. While you may not be a veterinarian or pet owner, you’re likely to eventually face the prospect of signing a covenant to not compete.

Tips for protecting trade secrets

Trade secrets are very special type of intellectual property. Any secret business information that gives a company a competitive edge qualifies as a trade secret. Unlike other forms of intellectual property, trade secrets are special because there is no limit to the time that you can hold onto its rights.

That said, they can also be gone in a literal flash. Holding onto a trade secret is entirely based on keeping it confidential. The moment this important information becomes public, it no longer qualifies as a trade secret. Therefore, the goal for anyone holding a trade secret is to protect the information at all costs.

Common mistakes when drafting a non-compete agreement

You have worked hard to mold your business into the successful company it is today. Central to this success are your key employees, who have become an integral part of your business. However, you may worry about what valuable information they may take with them should they eventually part ways with your Colorado company.

A non-compete agreement can promote fair competition and prevent the spread of your confidential information by restricting where employees can go after leaving your company. However, these agreements can be difficult to enforce. Here are four common mistakes when drafting non-compete agreements that can lead to enforceability issues:

When does a nondisclosure agreement go too far?

Chances are high that you will eventually be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement at some point in your working life. These agreements typically protect the company from the divulgence of trade secrets and attempt to stymie competition in the market.

While these agreements are common, Colorado law protects employees from hyper-aggressive nondisclosure agreements. If you have to sign one, you should be aware of the following before you do:

Can you enforce your noncompete agreement?

It’s the dream: You come up with a plan to cut through the internet’s layers upon layers of clutter and speak directly to your potential customers or clients. And if you can bring this idea to life, you’ll want to protect it, but will your noncompete agreement prove enforceable?

Colorado business owners may be surprised to learn how often their noncompete agreements are worth less than the paper they’re printed on. You want your agreement to protect your trade secrets and to uphold your goodwill in the market, but if you don’t draft and use it correctly, the court might simply declare it void.

Understanding contract breaches in Colorado

Most businesses engage in contracts in order to accomplish specific business goals, whether the ultimate one is to produce and release a product or to provide a service on a timely basis. In some cases, disputes arise between companies over the contracts they have signed, with one company alleging the other committed a breach of the contract's provisions. Contract breaches occasionally do occur, and the remedies available to the aggrieved party will often depend upon whether the breach was a minor or a material one.

Learning about forming an LLC

Entrepreneurs in Colorado might be interested in learning more about limited liability companies, as described by the U.S. Small Business Administration. This business structure provides owners with the advantages of running a corporation as well as the benefits associated with partnerships. The LLC possesses the flexible operational capacity of partnerships and the tax efficiencies realized by U.S. corporations. The people in an ownership position over an LLC are referred to as members.

Internet businesses in Colorado

Many Colorado residents dream of going into business for themselves, and they may think that an Internet business would be an excellent choice. People may have the idea that an online business will be easier to run and require less work. They may also have the idea that it will have lower costs and that it will not require the same degree of planning as other types of enterprises. People should be aware that many Internet businesses fail, and careful planning is needed to help them have a better chance of success.

Avoiding violations of the CAN-SPAM Act

Many Colorado businesses use commercial email as an important and often savvy part of their overall marketing strategies. While doing so is legal, it is important for businesses to be aware of the 2003 federal legislation referred to as the CAN-SPAM Act regarding their use.

Tailoring a business plan to attract lender capital

A business owner in Colorado may know that a business plan might be essential to running a focused organization. It is also a useful tool when attempting to get investment capital or a loan from a bank. When writing a business plan with an eye on getting a loan, there is key information that might help the lender make an informed decision.

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