How to Use Confidentiality Agreements in Your Online Business

confidentiality agreementThere are many online activities where it is a good idea to get a signed confidentiality agreement in place. This includes outsourcing work to a bookkeeper, software development, ghost writing, and negotiating the purchase or sale of a Web-based business. You will want to protect your trade secrets and other intellectual property at a minimum.

One of the important things to remember about a confidentiality agreement is that it is designed to be a reminder to the parties who sign it. Equally important is to recognize that a dishonest person will sign a confidentiality agreement in a heartbeat without thinking twice about violating it. In other words, choose who you do business with wisely.

The scope of your confidentiality agreement can be custom-tailored by your Internet lawyer to meet your business needs. Key issues to include in your agreement are…

1. What information must be kept confidential?
2. What information should not be treated as confidential?
3. Should the relationship between the parties be kept confidential?
4. Who must sign the confidentiality agreement?
5. Should copies of the confidentiality agreement be signed by employees and others who have access to the information?
6. What types of legal and equitable remedies do you want available if the confidentiality agreement is breached?
7. How will your confidential information be handled once your relationship with the other party terminates?

When discussing these issues with your Internet business lawyer, recognize that attorney-client confidentiality kicks in to protect you, i.e. there’s no need to have your Internet legal counsel sign a confidentiality agreement.