In a world where transparency is becoming more and more critical to the general public, non-disclosure agreements can feel like you’re trying to hide something. That is a misconception. Non-disclosure agreements for employees and partners are about solidifying trust. Here’s why a business owner, whether you’re a start-up or a multi-billion dollar company, needs to insist on non-disclosure agreements for their partners and employees.
Who needs a non-disclosure agreement
In short, anyone with a business needs to protect themselves and their ideas with non-disclosure agreements. Even a start-up, perhaps especially a startup, needs to protect their business by having partners and employees sign non-disclosure agreements. Your business will rely heavily on innovative ideas and proprietary information to get clients and build a successful business. If you don’t protect your ideas, any one of your employees or partners can take advantage and use your ideas, concepts, and practices as their own to steal clients and even your entire business. The cost of hiring a lawyer to help create and execute a strong non-disclosure agreement is not a significant expense, especially when your entire company and your ideas are on the line.
A non-disclosure agreement will create a much more trusting environment for you, your employees, and your partners. Having a strong non-disclosure agreement signed by everyone in your company will give you the freedom to speak openly about new business, new ideas, potential problems and weaknesses in your business without the fear that an employee or partner will take advantage and steal your business. Your ideas are the lifeblood of your business, and a non-disclosure agreement will protect those ideas and any idea that may follow.
If you don’t trust the people you work with or partner with, then your business is going to suffocate. To evolve and grow, you have to be able to speak freely and have an open exchange of ideas without the threat of your intellectual property being stolen.
Everyone is a competitor
Without a non-disclosure agreement protecting your proprietary data, ideas, and practices anyone that you hire, or partner with can quickly become your competition. When you partner with others in the industry, you need to make sure that they are not merely there to get inside knowledge into your ideas, inventions, and processes to use for their profit. Non-disclosure agreements force trust by having legal and binding consequences for breaking that trust.
Hire a lawyer to help write a strong non-disclosure agreement so that you can trust your employees and partners, and let your ideas flow freely without fear of intellectual property theft.