Florida statutes on non-competition covenants allow courts to modify overbroad non-competition covenants. For example, a non-competition covenant restricting an employee from competing against the employer in every county in Florida is likely overbroad if the employer conducts business only in Broward County. Florida statutes, however, allow the court to modify such overbroad non-competition covenants and grant “reasonably necessary” relief, i.e., modify the covenant to apply only to Broward County.
Under Florida contract law, however, courts generally will not rewrite the terms of a contract. Although Florida statutory law allows courts to modify overbroad non-competition covenants, Florida courts have otherwise refrained from rewriting non-competition covenants.
In Advantage Digital Sys. v. Digital Imaging Servs., 870 So. 2d 111 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003), two employees were bound by non-competition covenants that restricted them from “soliciting” the employer’s customers. The trial court found the non-competition covenants enforceable and ordered that the employees were prohibited from “having any contact, whatsoever, with any customers of [the employer].” Advantage Digital Sys., 870 So. 2d at 114-15. On appeal, the appellate court disagreed with the trial court’s order. The appellate court held that the trial court’s order went “far beyond prohibiting solicitation” and “essentially and impermissibly rewrites the parties’ agreements by disallowing any ‘contact’ with [the employer’s] customer. … Because the noncompetition agreements prohibit only solicitation, that is the only activity that can be the subject” of the court’s order. Advantage Digital Sys., 870 So. 2d at 115.