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What is a non-disclosure agreement?

As a business owner in California, you know ideas are worth their weight in gold. That is why it is so important that you safeguard your most valuable ideas when sharing information with others. Forbes explains how non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) offer such protection, while also detailing the key elements of these documents.

When crafting these documents, there are a few important considerations to make. For instance, all NDAs should have a well-defined term. This is the length of time the agreement will be active, which usually ranges from two to five years. An NDA could be enacted to last a lifetime, although this term tends to incur a higher cost, while also potentially being unable to be enforced.

You also want to make sure that all involved parties are clearly defined. Usually, this entails the disclosing party and the recipient of the information, although you can add others at your discretion. Equally important is properly defining what you mean by “confidential information”. If you want to protect oral as well as written information, you will want to include language to that effect. If so, sending a follow-up email after a conversation is a good idea, as the recipient will have an explicit understanding of confidentiality.

There are certain business scenarios where crafting an NDA makes the most sense. This can include business presentations, financing meetings, or when in search of professional services. It’s also a good idea to have an NDA in place when hiring new employees, who will naturally have access to sensitive information. In any case, it’s best to have professional legal counsel when creating this document. The law firm you choose should have a sound understanding of business and commercial law to ensure your NDA covers all the bases.

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