Taking part in a partnership is not necessarily a requirement in business. But in order for a business to survive or grow into a large corporation, they may need to consider joining a partnership. Establishing a trusting relationship is a critical first step when doing a partnership agreement. One or both parties may also need to disclose confidential information using a nondisclosure agreement to secure the transaction. In this article, you will learn about nondisclosure agreements and their uses. We’ve also provided samples that you can use as a reference.
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What Is a Nondisclosure Agreement?
A nondisclosure agreement (NDA) takes place between two or more parties, where one or both parties disclose confidential or proprietary information to another. When doing business with another, such as a joint partnership agreement, maintaining confidentiality is of utmost importance. The entities that use nondisclosure agreement samples include independent contractors, research facilities, real estate agents, etc. The shared or disclosed information like trade secrets or intellectual property gets protected if a nondisclosure agreement is in place. The agreement would prevent further disclosure of the information to outsiders or a third party.
There are three main types of nondisclosure agreements. They are unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral NDA. In a unilateral NDA or one-way agreement, only one party discloses confidential information. The bilateral or mutual nondisclosure agreement is the type where both parties disclose proprietary information. The third type, which is the multilateral NDA, involves three or more parties. It eliminates the need to create separate unilateral and bilateral NDAs. You can say that it’s a combination of a unilateral and bilateral NDA in one document.
How To Make a Nondisclosure Agreement
Nondisclosure agreements can be a stand-alone document, or it can be a part or clause in a different type of agreement. Examples of the document include employee nondisclosure agreement and nondisclosure agreement format for vendors. Because of its complexity, nondisclosure agreements are not the easiest of documents to write. So we’ve prepared here tips on how to write a nondisclosure agreement template.
1. Identify the Parties Involved
Agreements are legally binding only when done correctly. To do this, you will need to identify the right entity/s in the agreement. Make sure to get the names of the parties involved correctly. That is because there are a lot of people with the same full names, so you’ll need to specify which person you’re referring to.
2. Define Confidential Information
Be very specific with what information you consider as confidential. Provide a list of sensitive information and define each one of them. A broad definition of your agreement’s confidential information will make your transaction invalid. The scope of the agreement must also be specific.
3. Use Applicable Clauses
All agreements have tons of clauses, and it’s alright as long as they’re applicable. You should not use or add clauses just for the sake of having one on your agreement. It’s like opening a can of worms, and it may put you in a very difficult situation. So consider using only the clauses that are truly beneficial to your work.
4. Have It Signed by a Person with Authority to Bind
If the other party sends a representative on their behalf to sign the agreement template, make sure that he/she has the authority to do so. A person without enough authority is not good for the agreement and will make the transaction invalid.
5. Consult a Lawyer
If you think that you’re agreement still lacks something, then do not hesitate to conduct a lawyer. Lawyers are knowledgeable about the law, and they can help you with drafting your agreement. Just make sure to choose one who is an expert in the field of business you are dealing with.
What should I look for in an NDA?
Just like the preparations needed to write an NDA, there are also things that one must consider before signing one. Below is the list of things that you’ll need to look for before signing an NDA:
- The correct names of the parties involved in the agreement
- The list and definition of what information is confidential
- The length or duration that the agreement is effective
- Obligations of both the disclosing and receiving parties
- Remedies in case of a breach
- Clauses, like jurisdiction, mutual nondisclosure, nonsolicitation, etc.
- Exceptions to the NDA
How long should an NDA last?
The standard term or length of an NDA is usually between 1 to 10 years. However, one must remember that the term of the agreement and the duration to maintain confidentiality are two different things. The agreement can be effective for five years, but the obligation to maintain confidentiality may be indefinite.
Trade secrets are the ingredients for a company’s success. That is why it something that they dearly care about and is worth protecting. If you need help with writing your NDA, then our sample nondisclosure agreements can lend you a hand. Just download any of the samples above and use them as your guide or as a reference.
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