Developing a unique business practice, product or service can take a great deal of time and energy. Therefore, once your business is operating, you will want to do all you can to ensure its protection. One way to safeguard your small business and its proprietary details are by using non-disclosure agreements. If you are unfamiliar with these contracts, you may be asking: What is a non-disclosure agreement, and does my small business need one?
What is a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
As the name implies, a non-disclosure agreement or NDA is a written document that specifies that certain information is confidential. The document also states that the signing party agrees not to reveal the information to others and that they understand the potential consequences of doing so.
How are Non-Disclosure Agreements Used?
In business, owners can use non-disclosure agreements in multiple ways. For instance, parties may use this type of agreement in connection with a business asset intent to purchase letter. Non-disclosure agreements are also commonly used with employees who have access to confidential or trade secreted information. Generally, when an employee signs an NDA, they are promising not to reveal private information about their employer’s business practices, goods, or services.
What Types of Information Can be Protected by an NDA?
A Florida business owner can use an NDA to protect most of their private business-related information. For instance, NDAs can include provisions concerning:
- Intellectual property
- Training techniques
- Customer lists
- Trade secrets
- Research and development information
- Financial reports, and
- Other confidential information
Does My Business Need a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
If you are buying or selling a business, it would be in your best interest to include a non-disclosure agreement with your letter of intent. Having this document in place can provide added security during negotiations. In addition, if your business concerns intellectual property, trade secrets, or a unique good or service, you will want to make sure an NDA binds those who work for you. If you are unsure whether you need to use this type of agreement, you should consult with an experienced Florida small business attorney. Your counsel can help you evaluate your enterprise and determine the best ways to protect your interests.
What Happens if Someone Violates an NDA?
Having an NDA in place can help both parties understand what is expected. However, sometimes there may be a violation even when you have a clear agreement. For example, the breach may occur from a potential business deal that was never realized. It could also be that a former employee took your information to start their own business or used it when working for a competitor. If someone violates an NDA, you may have remedies under the law.
An NDA is a legally binding contract. Therefore, Florida law provides that a party may seek damages when another party breaches an NDA. You may also need to pursue injunctive relief to stop the breaching party from using your information. If you believe someone has breached your NDA, you should consult with an experienced Florida business law attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case and discuss your options.
Contact a Florida Business Attorney Today
Attorney Richard Sierra at the Florida Small Business Center assists clients like you with commercial leasing, business, and litigation matters. As always, Our Goal Is to Help You Succeed™. For an appointment, you may call us at 1-866-842-5202 or use the contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the State of Florida, including Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Deerfield Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Orlando, Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Tampa, and surrounding communities.