A Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a relatively straightforward and effective device that will help in protecting your intellectual property (IP). This is a quick guide to creating and using NDAs appropriate for your individual business needs.

There are several different names for NDAs. You may also hear them referred to as Confidentiality Agreements or similar terms. NDAs provide important protection for your business and are used in a wide variety of circumstances. Employees and contractors typically sign an NDA when they start to work for a business, and when two or more businesses discuss a partnership, they may sign an NDA at the outset to provide mutual protection for their IP.

Specificity is a key consideration. You may want to spell out exactly what items are deemed confidential in your NDA. On the other hand, you could also choose to use a more generalized NDA and then use a subsequent Partnership Agreement to clarify the terms for situations where you’ll be working more extensively with another entity on sensitive matters.

Another element to address is time frame. An NDA can be put into effect indefinitely or it can be given a definite end date like five years from the time of signing. You may also want to add a clause that confidential information may be shared with the notice and approval of all the signing parties.

In most cases, it’s beneficial to get legal advice to create the initial versions of your NDA and structure the details of complex partnerships. For day to day operations, you may be able to adapt your boilerplate NDA on your own just by updating the names of the parties and the dates. Execute the NDA by getting signatures from all parties and delivering a complete and signed copy to each.

All businesses have intellectual property whether are aware of it know it or not. Not sure if you do? Take our free risk quiz to find out. Contact us to learn more about how to protect your ideas and enjoy more success.


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