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Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) are designed to protect the secrecy of certain information that a business must share with you as a freelancer or consultant. If you have acquired the Intellectual Property Rights of your Innovation as a freelancer or consultant, you should see a mutual NDA example that will also protect your ideas as you work for your clients.

Non-disclosure agreements are also known as confidentiality agreements which are binding contracts that legally keep a receiving party from breaching confidentiality terms. This agreement keeps you as a freelancer from disclosing innovations, strategies, and specific information about the business idea of your client.

NDAs protect trade secrets (information unsuitable for a patent but are integral to a specific product or method). Other information covered by NDAs includes selling methods and methodologies, marketing plans and business concepts.

A good NDA example would include consequences involved with divulging the trade secrets as well as the length of time the information must be kept secret. Don’t be scared when you come across clients asking you as a consultant to sign an NDA. But before you sign, ensure that the document does not prohibit you from talking about your innovation and ideas except okay by you.

Where an NDA example may be required

NDAs are essential and appropriate in many scenarios since they can be used to protect trade secrets.

  1. Product designers - See a product designer-client NDA example to know what to expect. A product designer-client would ask you to sign a NDA to avoid the risk of losing patent rights, concepts or new product ideas to competitors. 
  2. While pitching your ideas to an investor, buyer, or licensee, it is essential to use NDAs, so that you can save the idea to yourself without losing your rights to the patent.
  3. Doing business with other partners or vendors involves sharing sensitive, conceptual, financial, or other information.
  4. When working with a client in which information flow needs to be both ways to complete a project.

When it comes to pitching your idea before Venture Capitalists, note that they will not sign any NDA example you bring because they want to leave their options wide enough. This will enable them to even come into a business agreement with your competitors; all they want is the money.

What goes into an NDA?

All information in the NDA must be as specific as possible and detailed to prevent accidental disclosures and future misunderstanding. As part of the conditions under which the NDA example can be used is that the receiving party must be notified when confidential information is being conveyed.  

For written information, this could mean enclosing the information in a folder named "Confidential" or stamping it with the same word when passing the information to the receiving party. If the information exchange was done orally (in person), the disclosing party must provide written notice to the receiving party that the information passed was confidential.

It is important to hire the services of an experienced business attorney if you don’t understand the details of an NDA as a freelancer. Before signing that document, make sure it has features that will protect you as a freelancer and does not include terms that will limit the growth of your business.  

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