Being a business owner in California or elsewhere can be tough. You go through a lot to keep your company going. Sometimes, this requires taking measures to protect your company secrets, your investors and your clients. This is where non-disclosure agreements come into play.
Some employees may be wary of signing NDAs. They may feel that doing so will limit what they can do if they ever decide to move beyond your company. Just because this may be the case, it does not mean that you should fail to protect your company. It also does not mean that you should fail to enforce them once they are in place.
Obtaining legally enforceable NDAs
While there are standard non-disclosure agreement forms out there, you can have them drafted specifically for your needs. By going this route, you can ensure that the document is legally enforceable should you ever need to take action against an employee or if an employee chooses to file a legal complaint against you.
To be legally enforceable, an NDA will need to include quite a bit of detailed information, such as:
- What information is protected -- trade secrets, layoffs, financial data and other important information
- Time frame -- how long the NDA will be enforceable
- Legal cost information -- who will pay for legal costs if there is a breach of contract
The more detailed the better.
Before one even writes the contract, it is important to decide how far you are willing to go to enforce it. Words without actions make the whole thing pointless. Let employees, investors, clients and others with whom you work know that you require the signing of an NDA -- no exceptions -- and what the consequences are for breaking the terms of the contract. This may seem off-putting to some, but it's worth your time.
If there is a breach of contract, then it is time to take action and put your plan for dealing with the contract breach to work. A few ways that you can enforce an NDA is:
- Utilize cease and desist letters
- Request an injunction or restraining order
- File legal claims against the responsible party
Avoiding litigation is always desired, but it is not always possible.
Get help creating NDAs and fighting contract breaches
Non-disclosure agreements do serve a valuable purpose. You can make sure yours work to serve your needs by seeking help in the drafting phase. If you do experience a contract breach, legal counsel can then help you pursue those actions deemed appropriate to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.