What should I include in a non-disclosure agreement?

As a New York entrepreneur, you are no doubt protective of those aspects that drive your business towards success. Accordingly, you may feel the need to draft a non-disclosure agreement to keep your employees from disseminating valuable information to competitors.

Entrepreneur offers a few useful tips on creating non-disclosure agreements. Corporate events with peers in your industry can be helpful for developing ideas still in the incubation stage, but can also lead to turmoil down the line should another party choose to turn a profit off those concepts you’ve discussed. Even seemingly innocuous exchanges can divulge information that is crucial to your enterprise. That’s why it’s so important to have NDAs in place beforehand, as this will establish that you take the security of your proprietary information seriously.

It also helps to consider legal costs when devising an NDA. This is especially important if you are a small business owner, which means you will likely lack the necessary funding for taking intellectual theft cases to court. To this end you can include a stipulation in your contract that holds the competing entity responsible for your legal fees if they are found to be culpable.

You should also be aware of the obligations of any NDAs you’ve submitted to in the past. In some cases previous employers may use these agreements to lay claim to your existing ideas and concepts. This area can be quite murky, because a seemingly unconnected project or invention you’ve undertaken could be the subject of dispute. If you lack an understanding of what is contained in previous NDAs, it’s recommended that you make an attempt to access these documents for review. 

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