Unfair competition - what are accounting offices afraid of?
Accounting offices enjoy great interest. In the last few years, the demand for accounting services has increased significantly, and the conditions for running your own tax business have been reduced by deregulating professions. At the moment, the market is already quite saturated with accountants. Competition is growing, so accounting offices, fearing too much supply of this type of services, begin to defend themselves. What are accounting offices afraid of? As it turns out, the problem is often unfair competition on the part of former employees. In our article you will find the answer to the question of how to protect your interest after the departure of a good employee.
A good employee is an investment in the company
A good employee costs a lot of work and often financial capital. This investment translates into a showcase of the company, because human capital is the foundation of a thriving enterprise. In turn, for every entrepreneur, the best review is a satisfied customer, served in a professional and courteous manner. All assumptions hold true until a good employee decides to leave the company.
During several years of work, accounting office employees establish friendly relations, gain valuable experience and an idea of how to run this type of business. For the employer, this may turn out to be a disadvantageous undertaking, as the clients of the office may leave with the employee.
Former employee and unfair competition
Recently, the awareness of the owners of accounting offices about the problem of unfair competition has increased significantly, which is why more and more is being said about ways to eliminate this problem. Believing in employee loyalty is not enough to risk losing your customer base. Especially when the former employee registers his activity and opens an accounting office on his own. It is well known that the initial stage of doing business is always difficult as you need to acquire customers, so taking them over from your former employer can prove to be a straightforward solution.
How to protect yourself against unfair competition?
Accounting office owners more and more often protect themselves against a disloyal employee and sign a non-competition agreement. However, what to do when this type of contract - for various reasons - has not been drawn up?
A non-competition agreement is the best solution to protect the interests of the accounting office after the departure of a "good employee". However, such written arrangements mean that upon termination of employment, the employer must pay the employee compensation for refraining from engaging in competitive activities. This type of contract may be terminated before the expiry of the period for which it was concluded, without the obligation to pay further compensation, provided that such a possibility arises from the content of the contract.
You have not concluded a non-competition agreement with the employee? Nothing is lost, because the owner of the company, in order to protect its interests, has the right to invoke the obligation of trade secret. Pursuant to Art. 11 sec. 4 of the Act on Combating Unfair Competition, the concept of a trade secret should be understood as non-disclosure to the public of the company's economic information, for which the entrepreneur has made every effort to maintain its confidentiality.
The economic value of an accounting office should be considered the applicable prices of services, customer service standards, costs and profitability of services or contact details. The obligation to protect the confidentiality of business information from people outside the company is crucial, because in the absence of such activities, the company secret does not apply. Then the employee can confidently use this information as general knowledge. The above position is confirmed by the judgment of the Supreme Court of October 3, 2000 (file reference number I CKN 304/00), according to which the employee had the right to use information in his / her business for which the entrepreneur did not take the necessary steps to keep it confidential. .
The owner of the accounting office should take care of his own business and protect himself against unfair competition on the part of the former employee. The basis for the security is a non-competition agreement. In addition, it is worth introducing the law of trade secret to the company.