When owning, operating or managing a business, it is important to take steps to protect it. This goes beyond taking care of all the necessary documents and filing. It means ensuring that trustworthy employees are hired and, if they do leave the company, the secrets of the business are kept protected. This is where a nondisclosure agreement or NDA can come into play. This agreement is a contract between an employee and employer, promising to protect the confidentiality of a secret that is disclosed to the employee during the course of his or her employment or during a business transaction.
Taking the time to protect a company's secrets is important and an NDA can do that for small and large businesses. The idea is that when there is an NDA in place and an employee later uses that secret information without consent, a business can request the court to stop that person from violating the nondisclosure agreement. In addition, it is possible to sue the person for breach of contract, collecting damages suffered by this breach of confidentiality.
Nondisclosure agreements can be used for a wide variety of reasons. The biggest reason today is to protect trade secrets. Unlike patents, which are made part of the public domain, trade secrets remain secret. Protection is only afforded to trade secrets if the owner of the trade secret has taken measures to keep it secret and the secret gives the owner an advantage in the marketplace.
A NDA can be very vital for some companies. However, when there is a breach of a nondisclosure agreement, this could present issues and even evolve in business litigation. No matter the type of nondisclosure agreement established or how it is breached, it is important that companies understand their rights and options to resolve these matters and maintain protection over their business.