(Part Six in a Series)
Your business is unique. No one does what you do the way you do it. You have developed a specialized niche for your services, and you serve your clients in your unique, individualized way.
Why, then, would you download a form agreement off the internet to try to protect your business?
One Size Does Not Fit All. Not only must you individualize your protections based on the duties and responsibilities of your specific employees, you also must tailor protections based on the nature of your business. Your efforts to protect your business must be as unique as your business is.
The law varies dramatically from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so you need the advice of a competent, experienced lawyer. Your lawyer can help you evaluate how to evaluate the following points and implement a plan that meets the needs of your busines.
What unique and valuable information do you use in your business? Your valuable information may include customer lists, research and development, marketing plans, or other information that helps your business prosper. Specifically identify your information, then take proper steps to protect it. Does the information qualify for trade secret protection? If so, what are you doing to protect and secure the information as a trade secret?
Who has access to that unique and valuable information? Your employees have different levels of access to your confidential information. You need to tailor your protections based on the level of access that each employee has to that information.
What steps can you take to protect that unique and valuable information? Do you need to protect trade secrets? What part should non-solicitation agreements play in your plan? Is a non-compete agreement appropriate for some of your employees? What aspects of physical security do you need to implement in your business? Are you adequately training your employees of how to protect and secure your valuable information?
How often should you review and update your plan? Remember that nothing remains constant. Your employees will take on new responsibilities and duties over time. Regularly review your plan to ensure that steps you are taking to protect your business meet your current needs and situation.
A professionally tailored suit fits your better than a suit purchased from a thrift store. When you tailor your restrictions for the specific needs of your business, you are reinforcing your position as a White Hat. What’s more, your business will boom.
I am, first of all, a husband and father. Rebecca and I have been married 23 years; we have four children ages 21, 19, 18, and 15. My family is my greatest joy in life. For 24 years, I have practiced business law in Arizona, the past eleven as the managing partner of Gibson Ferrin, PLC. We help businesses and their owners meet their business and personal goals. My practice focuses on the intersection between intellectual property law and employment law. I help businesses prosper by properly managing their intangible assets.
I am licensed to practice law in Arizona only. Though I believe the advice in BiziBoom™ is based on sound legal principles, the law of your jurisdiction may be different. The advice given on BiziBoom™ is informational only; it may not be applicable to your specific situation. You should seek the advice of competent counsel in your jurisdiction, someone who knows the particular legal requirements of your jurisdiction. Until you have signed an engagement letter with Gibson Ferrin, PLC, neither the Firm nor I are acting as your legal counsel. Nothing on BiziBoom™ creates an attorney/client relationship between you and the Firm.