Cain & Kiel Law

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Recent Blog Posts

Are non-compete agreements enforceable in Texas?

 Posted on January 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

Non-compete agreements are a popular way for businesses and companies of all types and sizes to protect their intellectual property and trade secrets. Employers can ask new employees to sign contracts that would only take effect after the employee-employer relationship ends. While there are a variety of reasons why non-compete agreements can be beneficial, they should be carefully worded and drafted with the help of an experienced attorney.

In some cases, a non-compete contract can become the center of a legal battle between a person and his or her former employee. The court may closely scrutinize these contracts, and, as an employer, you would benefit greatly from experienced guidance when developing this type of contract.

How you can protect your business interests in a non-compete agreement

Non-compete agreements are enforceable under Texas law as long as they meet certain requirements. They must clearly demonstrate that a business interest, such as a trade secret, is truly at risk, threating a business's bottom line, but they must also not place an unfair burden on the former employee or restrict his or her ability to earn a living.

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Why non-compete agreements are important to your small business

 Posted on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

If you run a small business in Texas, you may have the goal of building a staff that is like an extended family. You hope to hire employees who are enthusiastic and reliable, and you want them to feel that you trust them. This may be one of several reasons why you may be reluctant to ask your new employees to sign a non-compete agreement.

However, a non-compete contract - or any covenant that restricts competition - may be valuable to a small business in many situations. Much like a prenuptial agreement does with marriage, the non-compete contract can minimize complications and costs if an employee leaves your company.

A non-compete is good for your company

Competitive restriction contracts state that your employee cannot work for a competitor company or start his or her own similar company for a reasonable period of time within a reasonable geographical area after leaving your employ. Such a contract may also stipulate that an employee who leaves your business cannot recruit your customers or disclose any confidential information about clients or products.

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Know the costs associated with buying a house

 Posted on November 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Buying a house in a new neighborhood is one of the most exciting things you can do. Your home may also be your biggest investment, and it's important that you prepare for the responsibility that comes with it. No longer can you call your landlord to fix appliances and common problems, but the pride that comes from owning your own home more than makes up for it.

The cost of the house is only one of the things you should look at when you are determining which house to buy. Some new homeowners get in over their heads without realizing all the costs associated with the purchase. Here are a few to watch for when you are setting your price limits and budget.

Home inspection

Before you close on your house, your mortgage insurance company will want to inspect the home to make sure everything is up to par and in good shape. According to the U.S. News and World Report, these inspections may cost several hundred dollars. While the cost may be unexpected, it's also worth paying to have the peace of mind that there are no serious problems with your home.

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Requirements for getting your small business started in Texas

 Posted on November 02, 2016 in Uncategorized

Starting a business can be one of the most significant decisions you ever make and the legal process can seem daunting. Each state has different laws and regulations regarding the formation of small business and having an understanding of them before you get started will make things easier for you as you go about the process of forming your small business in the state of Texas.

Business structure

Before you can register your newly formed business, you must decide how your business will be formed. There are many different types and each has its advantages and disadvantages in different circumstances. The different types of business structures include,

· Sole proprietorship

· Limited Liability Company

· Cooperative

· Corporation (C corporation and S corporation)

· Partnership

Because each structure is different, they are treated differently under the law. They all have requirements specific to their type and they can be somewhat confusing if you are unfamiliar with them, but the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) has guides that provide information and assistance should you need it.

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Understanding mechanic's liens in Texas

 Posted on October 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

Buying a home should be an exciting, fun time for any family. Unfortunately, many end up with bad experiences because they didn't do their homework first. Before you buy a home, there are many details you can't afford to overlook. Once you're approved for financing, the house has passed inspection and you are ready to move in, there may still be one problem with your home you are unaware of. In order to cross everything off your list when buying a home, you may want to first check to make sure you don't have a mechanic's lien against it or determine if you are responsible for it.

What is a mechanic's lien?

When a new home is built or an older home remodeled, a general contractor is often hired to handle the project. This individual bids out the jobs, schedules the subcontractors and makes sure that your suppliers and contractors are paid. If the contractor fails to do his job, you may end up with a lien on the property called a mechanic's lien.

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When should you consider action for a non-compete violation?

 Posted on September 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

Clarity is the most important detail in any contractual agreements. It is a legal essential, yet certain documents always have more terminology that is left open to interpretation. The non-compete waiver an employee signs when changing jobs is among those, with key elements that determine if it is enforceable if it is challenged in court. The agreement is a means of protection for the business but it cannot hinder the former employee's prospects.

Key terms

Texas courts enforce a non-compete by how reasonable the demands are.

Specifically this pertains to:

  • Protection of business assets and information
  • Scope of non-compete (meaning time period of the agreement and job duties before and after)
  • Geography of non-compete

Uncertain terms

Legal questions arise when a business loses an employee because these terms themselves are variable. What is a reasonable time period or geography to include in a non-compete agreement? If your main competitor is 99 miles away, can you define the non-compete as effective within 100 miles, for example, if your region is typically defined as a 50-mile radius? If a salesperson of your software firm is leaving to work in sales for a vacuum company, is there enough crossover to justify action?

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Protecting your Texas business assets with noncompete agreements

 Posted on September 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Thank you for visiting our new blog. In this first post, we will introduce the noncompete agreement and the important role it can play in the success of a Texas business of any size or type.

Texas business climate is thriving

The business environment in Texas has improved greatly since the recession and both home-grown entrepreneurs and recent transplants are hanging up shingles here. In 2016, Texas ranks third overall among top states for doing business considering such factors as access to generous financing, favorable regulatory structure, relatively low state tax burden, competitive labor market and affordable energy costs, according to this year's national analysis by Area Development.

Once you have decided to launch your business in the Lone Star State, finding an attorney to guide you through all the important decisions in startup and business formation is imperative. When your attention eventually turns to hiring the right help, you should thoroughly explore with your lawyer and understand the benefits of noncompetition agreements and how to draft them to be enforceable under Texas law.

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