Some small business owners have created an idea or product that contains a new business model, invention, or other trade secrets. Far too often, these same business owners don’t take into consideration how important it is to have documents in place to protect their ideas. Perhaps they are consumed with the hectic operations of growing their business or they rely on the faith that everyone will honor some unwritten rule of “what happens at work stays at work.” Have you taken the necessary steps to protect your business?
Confidentiality Agreements can help to protect you by providing a contractual agreement allowing you to file suit against investors or employees who violate your confidences. This provides you with more protection when sharing your proprietary information with others.
When running your business, the fact is, in order to get funding or necessary loans for growth, you must share your idea or product with investors. You must also share information with employees simply to get things done. Many times, a confidentiality agreement for an employee may extend beyond the time of their employment. This helps protect you from a disgruntled employee leaving and revealing your privileged information to a competitor.
Implied contracts for maintaining private company information or proprietary ideas are very difficult to prove in a court of law. To protect your growing business, make preparations early and consult with an expert to draft your confidentiality agreements, then implement a process to have them signed before making key transactions
This article was also published in the printed version of the Volume 4 Jul-Sep 2016 Newsletter (PDF).
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