Is a non-compete clause valid against a sub-contractor?
My employer, whom I sell for, asked me to sign a non-compete clause. But, I amnot an employee; I am a sub-contractor (1099 income). So now I'm limited to only sell for this company. What if I get terminated?
If you signed a contract that you would not sell for a competitor, and signing that contract was a condition of employment (or, more technically, being given a sales territory or commissions), then that is an enforceable contract.
Generally speaking, courts in this country will enforce noncompete, but don't like them. That means that a reasonable noncompetition clause will usually be enforced. So if you signed an agreement to not sell to this company's customers, or not sell products/services like they do for a reasonable length of time (say, 6 - 12 months) in the same geographic market, that would probably be enforced. On the other hand, an agreement to never compete with this company in any way, or which barred you from selling in other markets or noncompeting products/services, would probably either not be enforced or be cut back to a more reasonable level. What would happen therefore depends on the context: what the agreement says, and what is reasonable in terms of limiting competition for this field.
The overall goal of the non-compete agreement is to prevent an employee or ex-employee from using an employer's confidential information for his or her personal benefit or for the benefit of a subsequent employer. These contracts also prohibit an employee or ex-employee from competing against his present or former employer. Non-competes are designed to protect only employers' confidential business information and only for the period necessary to do so.
What you are referring to is also called a covenant not to compete clause. These clauses are enforced by courts in Florida based upon the severity of the clause. The duration of the non-compete clause (how long you will have to wait before you can compete) and the area in which you cannot compete (locally, statewide, etc) will determine its validity.
It sounds as if you may be being treated as an employee and not an independent contractor. That may invalidate the agreement if signed. It is hard to predict how courts will view any particular clause without reviewing it in its entirety and context and looking at your particular circumstances. Seek legal help in your area.