In certain situations, it may be necessary to sign an agreement about keeping business information confidential.
When this is the case, you need a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” or NDA.
An NDA helps protect information being disclosed during business transactions (meetings, calls, emails, etc.) so it doesn’t leak out to competitors or other unintended recipients.
Typically, there are three situation in which an NDA will be used:
If only one party is disclosing confidential information, the discloser and recipient will sign a standard NDA;
If all parties are disclosing information, like when discussing pricing or future plans, all parties will sign a mutual NDA (sometimes referred to as an MNDA); and
Employers may have employees sign NDAs to keep company information confidential.
While NDAs are usually done between businesses, individuals can sign them as well when they are disclosing or receiving confidential information.
Here are two sample NDAs:
Standard - http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/sample-confidentiality-agreement-nda-33343.html
Mutual - https://www.elance.com/p/help/supplemental/contract-mutual-nda.doc
There are many examples of NDA templates on the Web – if these don’t fit your needs, do a search and you can probably find a good example to use.
Make sure you keep fully signed copies or scans of all completed NDAs. If you don’t have copies, you will have no way of protecting your disclosures!
If you have any questions about an NDA someone else has asked you to sign, or if you need help creating an NDA for your specific needs, you should contact a lawyer.