Whilst many investors and a lot of larger businesses don't believe in non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), they do crop up frequently with web start-ups. In September last year, the Bootlaw chaps held an evening event to talk through some of the surrounding issues. Notes from the night can be found on the meetup.com site. The notes are well worth a read.
A solid NDA serves to protect your intellectual property rights (IPR). With or without one, however, if you tell other businesses or individuals about your IPR you won't be able to remove that information from their heads. Better, perhaps, to avoid situations requiring an NDA.
Here at Reincubate we are not lawyers and don't purport to be. This is our opinion, with no warranty.
When offered or about to offer an NDA, we have some thoughts on best practice:
- If you can avoid needing an NDA, that's best.
- When you are asked to sign an NDA, do read it. Really.
- If an NDA is put in front of you, check to see whether it is mutual. Often they're not but should be.
- It is considered good practice to put an expiry date on non-disclosure agreements. A few years will do.
- Lawyers informally advise taking NDAs where available from the web or putting your own together from others you've seen. Whilst it's worth sanity-checking your document, it's one thing to ask a lawyer to write an NDA and another to quickly review one.
- Note the jurisdiction of the NDA. Applicable only in the State of California? Maybe not.
- Remember to sign the NDA, and keep a signed copy of any agreements you've entered into.
If you've made it this far and still need a template for a mutual non-disclosure agreement, you could take and adapt ours, though we accept no responsibility. This one works nicely in OpenOffice and Word.