Confidentiality Agreements, sometimes also referred to as Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), can be used by your business under a variety of circumstances to help protect its intellectual property, data, customer lists, proprietary business information, and other trade secrets from adverse uses by others.
Often, a Confidentiality Agreement or NDA will be used when a business is trying to solicit its services to others- like future key employees or independent contractors, market its goods or intellectual property to another business in a non-public manner, seek investors, or market and sell its business to potential buyers.
In all of these situations, it is very important for the disclosing business to protect itself before it engages in any of these activities. Without proper contractual protections in place prior to disclosing such information, your business will be at risk if the other party uses your business information to your disadvantage. Once that information is disclosed, your business may otherwise have little legal protections to rely on to protect itself in the absence of a well drafted Confidentiality Agreement or NDA.
A properly drafted Confidentiality Agreement or NDA will consider issues such as: how to determine what information can and should be protected, what the agreed process is regarding the disclosure and safeguarding of information, what period of time after disclosure do legal protections apply, and what legal remedies are available in the event a party breaches your agreement.
Protecting your sensitive business information is an important first step when exploring opportunities such as those described in this brief summary. You should always seek the counsel of an experienced business attorney before you take the next steps in pursuing these kinds of business opportunities to ensure that those potential opportunities do not become liabilities.