When starting a business, entrepreneurs should always consider the protection of their product’s or service’s intellectual property. This may done by filling for either trademark, patent, or copyright claims for a business’ tangible assets. As for the non-material assets of a company, the best way to protect them is through the use of trade secrets.
Confidentiality agreements between employers and employees, contractors/subcontractors and employers, patients and physicians/hospitals are then needed for trade secret protection. Business trade secrets may include strategies, concepts, techniques, financial data, manufacturing expertise, even ingredients – basically anything that isn’t tangible and would give the business an edge.
Employee Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Employee Confidentiality Business Agreement
HIPAA Employee Confidentiality Agreement
Confidentiality Non-Disclosure Agreement Forms
Employee Confidentiality Non-Disclosure Agreement
Confidentiality Non-Disclosure and Non-Compete Agreement
Patient Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Medical Patient Confidentiality Agreement
Non-Employee Patient Confidentiality Agreement
Medical Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Medical Office Confidentiality Agreement
Medical Records Confidentiality Agreement
Contractor Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Independent Contractor Confidentiality Agreement
SubContractor Confidentiality Agreement
Purpose of Confidentiality Agreement Forms
- Protection of Assets Against Intellectual Property Theft. During the beginning stages of a business, owners need to think for the long term and prepare for intellectual property protection. It is better to protect the company’s intangible and tangible assets beforehand and prevent any future loss/es from intellectual property theft. The cost of litigation and associated loss of market share may create a significant dent to a startup’s finances.
- Prevent Others From Replicating Company Trade Secrets. A common clause on confidentiality agreements talks about non-disclosure of core company strategies that signatories may be exposed to. Doing so will deter employees from taking the technical know-how for their own and prevent them from starting a competing business. When trade secrets are leaked or copied, companies always have the option to sue the infringing party and be remunerated. The infringing party will also need to stop their operations unless your company allows them to franchise your services or products.
- Gain Trust Among Co-Founders and between Employees. For startup founders, non-disclosure agreements may represent the founders’ dedication to the the business and their willingness to stick with the business and make it grow. Signing confidentiality agreements can also help increase employees’ trust levels with the company. These forms do not necessarily translate into having a smooth-sailing business functions.
Benefits of Confidentiality Agreements
Some non-disclosure agreements used in the health care setting for example work in the favor of clients/patients more. Usually, it is employers and business organizations who mainly benefit from confidentiality agreement forms. Listed below are a few of these benefits:
- Saves Company from Future Litigation Costs. Although companies may be reimbursed for litigation fees if a court rules in their favor, the time and effort spent in attending court appointments and lawyer meetings should be allotted to preventing them from happening instead. This approach is a more economical approach, especially for startups.
- Prepares Company for Future Development.Sometimes confidentiality agreements are needed when companies plan to further commercialize their services. This may involve future franchising or licensing development that will require absolute protection of trade secrets before coming into fruition. As an employee signing a non-disclosure agreement with this kind of additional clause, you will be more prepared for what the company’s future may look like.
- Encourages More Innovation in the Industry.The practice of companies requiring signed non-disclosure agreements prior to employment helps encourage other companies or individuals to experiment and develop other ways to help their own companies. This culture of innovation is often seen among technology startups today. For businesses in other industries, companies can lead on innovation by using their own strategies to increase sales, decrease employee absenteeism, and improve leadership skills. The latter are all intangible assets that companies can protect as a trade secret.
- Protects Company from Employee Poaching. Employee poaching occurs when other companies hire your own company’s skilled employees. Your company may prevent this from happening by adding a non-solicitation in your company confidentiality agreement that applicants need to sign before being hired. Applying this clause also saves the company from retraining new employees.
Personal Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Personal Assistant Confidentiality Agreement
Personal Data Confidentiality Agreement Form
Standard Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Standard Employee Confidentiality Agreement
Standard Employment Confidentiality Agreement
Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement Forms
HIPAA Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement
Medical Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement
Legal Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Legal Confidentiality Non-Disclosure Agreement Form
Legal Intern Confidentiality Agreement Form
Health Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Health Services Confidentiality Agreement Form
What to Include in Confidentiality Agreement Forms
If you are a part of startup’s management or legal team assigned to draft your company’s confidentiality agreement forms, remember the following key points to include in the agreement form:
- Basic company information like business name, office location, and lawsuit jurisdiction
- The signatories involved (usually the employer and employees
- Definition of key industry terms used in the agreement
- Company trade secrets, whether specific or broad confidentiality
- The specific extent of responsibility the employee or signatory needs to do or not do to preserve confidentiality
- The length of the agreement
- Exceptions to the confidentiality rule
- Additional clauses like no-poaching clause, no-competition clause, jurisdiction clause, injunction clause, etc
How to Write Confidentiality Agreement Forms
Confidentiality agreement forms, also known as non-disclosure agreement forms, are often written with the help of a lawyer with the feedback of a company’s management team. These forms come in various formats depending on the industry or field that your business is in and the relationship between the person signing and the entity disclosing information.
If you are tasked to draft a confidentiality agreement form, you may follow the steps below:
- First, determine what type of confidentiality agreement you are creating. As shown above, there are different forms for different scenarios ranging from the widely used Employee Confidentiality Agreement Forms, Patient Confidentiality Agreement Forms, Contractor Confidentiality Agreement Forms, Legal Confidentiality Agreement Forms, to Health Confidentiality Agreement Forms. Different forms will also require a different set of data used to customize each form.
- Next, list of things that your company will require utmost confidentiality.
- Also take note of the term and exceptions of the agreement since most signatories will look for this section in the agreement form.
- Depending on your company policy, you may also list down additional confidentiality clauses like the No Poaching Clause and the No Competitor Clause.
- With the help of a lawyer, begin to write each item on this list into standard legal agreement language.
- Once done, present a draft of the confidentiality agreement to the management to see if they wish to make any changes. Repeat this step until the company leaders and lawyers are satisfied.
- Now, you are ready to reproduce each confidentiality agreement form and let job applicants sign them.
- Last step: Some prospective employees may not agree with some clauses found in the standard company confidentiality agreement and they wish to renegotiate this. Some companies may allow this practice when acquiring highly skilled individuals. If this occurs, you may need to draft a new confidentiality agreement after management approval.
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